At the age of 17, Connor Bedard is a generational talent, who likely has a long, successful NHL career ahead of him. And yet, he may have already secured himself a spot as an analyst before he ever steps on the ice for the Chicago Blackhawks, who are likely to select the young phenom with the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Prior to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Bedard was on-site in Las Vegas and joined the extensive cast of the NHL on TNT pregame crew. Bedard, who was seated next to Wayne Gretzky, was asked what it was like by host Liam McHugh to not only sit next to “The Great One,” but to be in Las Vegas and just a mere couple of feet away from the Stanley Cup.

“I mean, it’s pretty crazy,” Bedard said in response to McHugh’s question about this being the new normal for the 17-year-old. “I’m super grateful. Like, the NHL doing this is incredible for me and the other three prospects to come and see a couple of pretty good players on this panel… and Biz is here too.”

“Biz” is Paul Bissonnette, who is perhaps more known for his brash personality and work as an analyst in his post-playing career than his days as a fourth-line grinder. Bissonnette is a good sport and often makes his own quips about his playing days when comparing himself to that of Gretzky or Henrik Lundqvist.

But, the former NHL player and current TNT analyst wasn’t likely expecting Bedard to come for his neck. Bissonnette provides comedic relief to the set and has allowed his personality to shine, just as he has on his Barstool Sports “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast, along with another former NHLer in Ryan Whitney.

“Uh oh, here we go,” Bissonnette said. “He’s already throwing shots at me, alright?”

That he did. And Bissonnette took it in stride. Whether the panel knew Bedard was going to make that quick remark is currently unknown, but he’s already captured the attention of hockey fans and the praise of McHugh, as seen below:

This likely won’t be the last we see from Bedard on TV, as he seemed like a natural in his debut.

[B/R Open Ice on Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.