Who is the best current NHL player you would trade for Connor Bedard?

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So the Connor Bedard 2023 Draft hype will soon reach fever pitch as the NHL regular season wraps up and the eliminated teams begin their lottery watch.

For this week’s roundtable, we tackle a ridiculous but fun hypothetical question. Let’s say every player in the league was fair game to be traded. If you could wave a magic wand: Who is the BEST player you would trade, directly, for Connor Bedard? This is not to imply that a trade is on the table; the goal here is to gauge how much we enjoy it right now.

MAT LARKIN: I will start with Nikita Kucherov. I’m confident enough in Bedard’s generational talent to be willing to give up a current 100-point superstar – but one who turns 30 in June and has a history of injuries. I’m not ready to give up on a freshman star in his early or mid-twenties in the vein of a Jason Robertson. I think Bedard’s floor is to be top 10 in the league, but that’s not the same as knowing that. Am I playing too carefully?

NICK ALBERGA: I will go with Tim Stutzle. Although the 21-year-old has been a beast this season for the Ottawa Senators, I sincerely believe Bedard has a chance to be a generational talent. Stutzle is fantastic, but I’m not sure he’s capable of reaching that level. Obviously, it’s a risky proposition to go all-in with Bedard before he’s even set foot in the NHL, but in this case, I think the juice is worth it. Prepare the papers.

MIKE MCKENNA: You are sweet. I will change Sidney Crosby. He’s 35 and the Penguins won’t play for the Stanley Cup again until a new wave comes along. And I say that as a guy who picked the Penguins to win it all this season. This is a hypothetical total scorched earth, so fans don’t matter. Pittsburgh would never trade Crosby in reality. But throw away all the love and nostalgia for the player: honestly, wouldn’t it make sense to trade Crosby for Bedard? It really would be.

STEVEN ELLIS: I am VERY confident that Bédard will become one of the best players in the world. It won’t be long before he is one of the top three players. I’m going with David Pastrnak. And, honestly, it was a lot harder than I thought…because I’m not sure there’s an untouchable in this case other than Connor McDavid. I’m extremely confident that Bedard will become the greatest player since McDavid, and that the two will have incredible battles for years to come. I pick Pastrnak purely on the basis of his sheer dominance this year, and Boston definitely wants that to continue based on the new deal. But, honestly, the real answer is anyone but McDavid.


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