Connor Bedard “shoots it as well as anyone,” says Auston Matthews

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There was a lot of praise coming from the Maple Leafs locker room on Sunday.

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And they didn’t blow hot air, especially when it came to the Chicago Blackhawks’ star rookie Connor Bedard.

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“He shoots as well as anyone I’ve ever seen, so he’s definitely special in that way,” Leafs superstar Auston Matthews said at the Ford Performance Center. “I don’t know him personally, but his skills speak for themselves.

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“The way he handled himself and the way he went through this process with all the hype and circus around him, he seems like he has a good head on his shoulders.”

Of course, it’s not just Bedard’s deadly shot, which he has said in the past was modeled on Matthews, that will worry the Leafs on Monday night.

“I didn’t know his game that well before he came into the league,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “I would say his game is much more dynamic and complete offensively than I thought. You see him as a shooter, but he makes a lot of plays, he drives the offense and that’s what he did here in the early going despite being inexperienced in his first season in the league.

“If our team play continues to improve defensively the way we need it to, I think we’ll get a lot of those things done. But it will certainly be challenged.”


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