Auston Matthews and Taylor Hall call out “circus” around Connor Bedard
Rex Arbogast/AP  

Auston Matthews and Taylor Hall call out “circus” around Connor Bedard

Two NHL stars are not happy with the treatment they have seen rookie Connor Bedard receive.

Jonathan Larivee

The hype around Chicago Blackhawks rookie sensation Connor Bedard has been undeniable this season with media coverage of the young stars every move being nearly constant, but has it been too much? Bedard's fellow stars in the National Hockey League certainly seem to think so and now two other former first overall picks are speaking out about the kind of pressure and demands that are being placed on the young man's shoulders.

Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews, picked first overall at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, was the first to really comment on the situation when he criticized the media circus that has hounded Bedard since he entered the NHL.

"They certainly started him off on the all-circus tour here," said Matthews as per "It’s a lot, but I think in the end, you just want to play hockey. That’s what’s most important."

Matthews, who very recently expressed his own distaste for some of the hockey media, knows all too well the kind of expectations being place on Bedard's shoulders as a first overall pick, and the negative impacts that can have on a young player. Matthews isn't the only one however and on Monday morning another first overall pick echoed the sentiment from Matthews when he was asked about the media circus around his teammate.

"He does way too many in game interviews and stuff," said Taylor Hall, who himself was selected first overall at the 2010 NHL entry Draft. "I think that they need to find a way to just let him play."

Hall also said that Bedard understands his role as an important figure in the sport of hockey, but that it is simply too much for the young man to handle.

"I think he understands his role as a major ambassador for the game of hockey and he's handling it so well," added Hall. "He doesn't seem to be phased by it but I think that it can be a little much for him at times. He doesn't say that but it feels like it is."

Like Bedard and Matthews, Hall himself is one of the few players that can truly appreciate the pressures and burdens that come with being a first overall pick in the NHL draft. Thankfully for Bedard, he has players who are now well established in the NHL willing to speak out on his behalf.