Bedard to Miss Another 6 Weeks for Blackhawks with Fractured Jaw
Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard will be out for an additional six weeks due to a fractured jaw sustained on January 5th.
Bedard's Recovery Timeline
Connor Bedard, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, will be sidelined for at least six more weeks as he recovers from a fractured jaw.
Despite hoping to return to face his hometown Vancouver Canucks, Bedard is devastated to be unable to play. Chicago Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson confirmed that it will take the full six weeks for his bone to settle and for him to fully recover.
While there was initial hope that he could return earlier than expected after resuming skating less than a week ago, it seems that timeline is not feasible. Richardson emphasized the importance of Bedard's medical team determining when he can safely return.
Injury Details and Progress
Bedard sustained his fractured jaw during a game against the New Jersey Devils on January 5th. He was checked by defenseman Brendan Smith in the slot and left the ice holding his mouth.
Although Bedard has been able to skate and do light shooting while wearing a full face shield, he is still unable to fully exert himself during practice. His bones need time to heal properly, and the shield can cause additional discomfort.
Despite his absence from the lineup, Bedard leads the Blackhawks and all NHL rookies in points with 33 (15 goals, 18 assists) in 39 games. He was also selected for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game prior to his injury.
Bedard's Return and the Blackhawks' Performance
While there is no specific concern about Bedard's readiness once he is cleared to return, his recovery will ultimately be determined by his medical team. They will conduct scans and X-rays to ensure his jaw has fully healed before ramping up his on-ice activities.
In the meantime, the Blackhawks have struggled without Bedard, posting a record of 3-5-0. They currently sit at the bottom of the Central Division with a record of 14-31-2.
With Bedard's injury, New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck and Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor have been added to the roster for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game as replacements.