Connor Bedard receives his first demotion from the Blackhawks
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Connor Bedard receives his first demotion from the Blackhawks

The first real snag in the young man's pro career.



He may not have the outright NHL rookie scoring lead, but things are going swimmingly for rookie sensation Connor Bedard of the Chicago Blackhawks so far. 

The 18 year old is tied for the league-lead in rookie scoring and has lived up to the hype thus far. He's been driving offence, playing smart defence and contributing in all areas of the ice. But, Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson wants more from the young man. At least, that should be the sentiment received by Bedard if today's wake up call at practice is any indication. 

Richardson actually demoted Connor Bedard off of the Blackhawks' top line at practice today and he's expected to center the second line tomorrow evening against the Boston Bruins. Rather than utilizing skilled forwards like Taylor Raddysh and Andreas Athanasiou alongside Bedard, coach Richardson has elected to skate him alongside veterans Nick Foligno and Tyler Johnson.

In other Blackhawks news, the team announced earlier today that forward Taylor Hall will be out week to week after re-injuring his shoulder against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday evening.

"He was trying to play through it, and instead of making him still try to do that, you could always have a risk of him hurting it worse or something else protecting it," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said earlier today.

"He's going to take the next few games and then we'll go week to week to see how he's doing."

"He was great at the start of the year and then got banged up in Boston. A lot of character coming back in that Toronto game," Richardson said of Hall.

Here's the play that Richardson is referencing:

"He plays a physical game, more than people would give him credit for, and he had a good two-way game going, so that's a good role model for the younger guys. Guy that's won the MVP (Hart Memorial Trophy with the New Jersey Devils in 2018) and a first overall pick and known to be a skilled guy and a speed guy, but he plays both ways and plays the right way, taking hits to make plays. We're going to miss that for sure, but that's opportunity for other guys to see what he did and try to emulate that."

Source: Scott Powers