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Chicago Blackhawks Put Connor Bedard on IR

The Chicago Blackhawks put rookie center Connor Bedard on injured reserve on Saturday for a fractured jaw. Forward Nick Foligno was also placed on IR because he has a fractured left finger.

Bedard got injured in the first period of Friday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. Devils defenseman Brendan Smith shoulder-checked Bedard, and Bedard fell to the ice holding his jaw. Smith wasn’t penalized for the hit.

"I didn't really see it too many times. I don't know if it was dirty," Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. "I think Connor was reaching for a puck and didn't see him because he was behind one of their players. I don't think he stepped up on Connor. I think he kind of stopped, and Connor ran headfirst into him. I don't think there was intent [to injure]. I think he was just playing hard on the blue line and trying to keep the puck out on the penalty kill."

Currently, there is no timetable for when Bedard will be able to play again. Losing Bedard is a massive loss for the Blackhawks. He is the best player that the Blackhawks have. The number one pick in the 2023 NHL draft leads the Blackhawks and all NHL rookies in scoring with 33 points(15 goals) and assists with 18 this season. On Thursday, Bedard was selected for the 2024 NHL All-Star game.

The Blackhawks were already struggling before Bedard got injured, as they lost five straight games and were 2-10-1 in their last 13 games. With Bedard out, expect the Blackhawks to keep struggling and losing. It doesn’t help that in addition to Bedard and Foligno, the Blackhawks have also lost forwards Taylor Raddysh (groin), Tyler Johnson (foot), and Anthony Beauvillier (wrist) to injury.

The Blackhawks have acquired forward Rem Pitlick in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2026 NHL draft. Pitlick will provide some much-needed help to the Blackhawks, but don’t expect them to start winning with him in the lineup.

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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