Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks rookie phenom Connor Bedard will return to the ice for Thursday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bedard had missed the last six weeks after suffering a fractured jaw against the New Jersey Devils back on Jan. 5.

During the Jan. 5 game against the Devils, Bedard was bringing the puck into the offensive zone when Devils defenseman Brendan Smith delivered a big hit on the rookie center.

Bedard underwent surgery a week later, and his original timeline stated that he was going to miss six to eight weeks.

"We're hoping after that six-week mark [after surgery], so that will be a week from today, I guess," Chicago coach Luke Richardson said Monday.

Despite missing the last 14 games, Bedard still finds himself in the thick of the Calder Trophy race as the NHL's top rookie. Bedard is currently tied with Minnesota Wild defenseman Brock Faber for the most points among rookies (33).

Bedard, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, tallied 33 points (15 goals,18 assists) in 39 games prior to suffering the injury. He was originally selected to the 2024 NHL All-Star Game before the injury occurred, but still attended the festivities despite not playing in the contest earlier this month.

Ironically enough, Bedard's NHL debut came in the 2023-24 season opener against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. In that particular contest, Bedard registered an assist and five shots-on-goal in a 4-2 Blackhawks win.