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North Vancouver's Connor Bedard earns NHL top rookie award

The 18-year-old phenom from North Van led all NHL rookies in goals and points despite missing 14 games with a broken jaw
North Vancouver’s Connor Bedard gets his hands on the Calder Trophy after being named the NHL’s top rookie at the league’s awards show held Thursday, June 27 in Las Vegas. | @NHL / X

The well-stocked trophy case of North Vancouver’s Connor Bedard has a fancy new addition following the 2024 NHL Awards show held Thursday, June 27 in Las Vegas.

The 18-year-old shooting star earned the Calder Trophy for the 2023-24 season, given to the league’s best rookie as voted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

“It’s a cool honor, for sure,” Bedard said after receiving the award. “There’s a lot of people who go into it. Obviously, it’s an individual award but it’s cool to celebrate it almost with your teammates and family, just with the help they’ve put toward it. So, it’s a cool moment for sure.”

Bedard led all rookies in goals with 22 and points with 61 despite missing 14 games with a broken jaw. He had 28 points in his final 29 games. The 18-year-old was picked No. 1 by Chicago in 2023 following an extraordinary youth and junior career that earned him a label as one of the league’s future superstars.

“I’m just playing hockey,” Bedard said about the expectations placed on him. “There’s a lot of stuff that is out of your control and that’s not important to me. I just want to play hockey and be with my teammates, be with your brothers every day chasing a goal. That’s all I really focus on. The other stuff is just what comes with it once you get to a certain level. It’s not really anything I’ve thought about much.”

In Calder Trophy voting, Bedard was named on all 194 ballots from the PWHA as a top-five selection. He had 152 first-place votes and 39 second-place votes, earning a total of 1,808 voting points. Minnesota Wild defenceman Brock Faber was next with 1,464 points (with 42 first-place votes). Bedard and Faber were the only two players earning first-place votes. Luke Hughes of the New Jersey Devils was third in voting with 686 points.