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Connor Bedard will be out of the lineup for quite some time. On Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced that Bedard has undergone surgery to repair his fractured jaw and will miss six to eight weeks as a result.

During Friday's game against the New Jersey Devils, Bedard was bringing the puck into the offensive zone when Devils defenseman Brendan Smith delivered a big hit on the rookie phenom. 

Smith wasn't given a penalty for the hit but did drop the gloves with Blackhawks forward Nick Foligno following the play. Both players ended up being assessed roughing penalties due to the scuffle. Once again in the second period, Foligno and Smith dropped the gloves and fought.

Bedard immediately went to the locker room and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest. On Saturday, the Blackhawks announced that Bedard had been placed on injured reserve after suffering a fractured jaw as a result of the hit.

Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson was unsure if Smith's hit on Bedard was dirty, but did say that the Chicago rookie was in a vulnerable position on the play.

"I don't know if it was dirty," Richardson said following Friday's game. "I think Connor was reaching for a puck and didn't see him because he was behind another one of their players. I don't think he stepped up on him. I think he just kind of stopped, and Connor kind of ran headfirst right into him. I don't think there was intent to hit there or anything. I think he was just playing hard at the blue line and trying to keep the puck out on the penalty kill."

Before suffering the injury, Bedard was viewed as the frontrunner for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, but that race could severely change with Bedard set to miss significant time. Bedard had registered 33 points (15 goals & 18 assists) in 39 games for the Blackhawks this season.

Bedard, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, is currently leading the team in points (33), goals (15), and assists (18), while also having the most points among rookies.