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While having a favorite NHL player may seem like something that’s isolated to fans, almost every athlete grew up idolizing someone. Take Connor Bedard as the perfect example of that. While the British Colombia native seems like the league’s next big star, he still has a couple of favorites who are already in the league.

The teenager didn’t just shout out any two players, though. He picked two of the ice game’s modern elite — Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews — both of which tell us a bit about Bedard and his game. Let’s break it down.

Connor Bedard is fittingly a fan of both Auston Matthews and Sidney Crosby

While the coolness factor does matter, most young athletes pick their favorite heroes based on some sort of stylistic similarity or aspirational aim. Connor Bedard may be a bit more established — he’s already dominated World Juniors and seems poised for NHL stardom — but that can still be seen in his choice of hockey players.

In a TSN Youtube short, the former Regina Pats forward was asked about the identity of his favorite hockey player. While he was only asked for one name, Bedard offered two: Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews. And while those names might sound like a typical cliched hockey answer, they both make sense.

In regard to the former star, Crosby is Canada’s premier center, and Bedard shares a position and nationality with the Penguins ace. The teenager will probably never play exactly the same as Sid the Kid — the current Regina Pat is more of a pure offensive talent than a two-way threat — but Crosby is still someone worth emulating.

The comparison to Matthews is a bit more obvious. Not only are both players explosive scorers, but Bedard has talked openly about emulating the Maple Leaf’s drag shot.

“Even now, I’ll just search up videos on shooting, or just watch his goals,” Bedard told Thomas Drance of The Athletic. “I think I’ve seen all of his goals. It’s something I enjoy doing, and I use it a lot. He obviously created it, and it’s become the shot I use the most. … I don’t quite remember what year it was, but after I saw that, it was something that really popped to me. It was something I just needed to be able to do. Not that I’m going to be able to do it as well as him, but it was something I started working on after that.”

Will the teenager be exactly like either Sidney Crosby or Auston Matthews? Probably not. Inspiration, however, is the most sincere form of flattery. And, if nothing else, Connor Bedard certainly has the skill to follow in their footsteps.


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