PRAGUE -- Connor Bedard isn't satisfied with his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bedard, who is a finalist for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, believes there's plenty of room for improvement for himself and his team.

"We obviously wish for more success as a group, but that's what we're trying to grow and become better every year," Bedard said during the 2024 IIHF World Championship, where he is playing for Canada. "I thought we took some steps to that along the year.

"I don't think I was overly happy personally too. We're players. We're trying to win every game. We're not thinking about the process or anything like that. We're going out and trying to win every night. That's how we see it and that's our approach to every game."

The Blackhawks (23-53-6) were last in the Central Division, 46 points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. It was the fourth straight season Chicago missed the postseason.

Bedard, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, will be a major piece in fixing that.

"He's a special player," Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones said of the center. "I think what separates him maybe is his maturity. He's so passionate about the game and he loves the game so much. He wants to do well and you can see at times this year when the team wasn't doing well, he was getting frustrated. An 18-year-old coming in scoring 22 goals ... he was really all the offense at times during games. His release is one of the best in the League already."

The 18-year-old led NHL rookies in goals (22) and points (61), and tied for the lead in assists (39) in 68 games; he missed 14 games because of a broken jaw sustained Jan. 5.

Bedard led the Blackhawks in scoring and had the most points by a Chicago rookie since Artemi Panarin had 77 in 2015-16. Panarin also was the last Blackhawks player to win the Calder Trophy.

"I don't think he's an individual accolades guy," Jones said. "I don't get that vibe from him at all. He wants the team to do well and he wants the team to win. He understands he's going to be a big part of that in the future. Right now, obviously, we want to grow his game individually in certain aspects, but he wants the team to win."

Playing at the World Championship for the first time, Bedard helped Canada, the defending champion, reach the semifinals, where it lost 3-2 to Switzerland in the shootout on Saturday. It will face Sweden for the bronze medal on Sunday (9 a.m. ET; NHLN, TSN) before Switzerland plays Czechia in the gold-medal game (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN).

Bedard has eight points (five goals, three assists) in nine games and left a big impression on Toronto Maple Leafs center and Canada teammate John Tavares.

ANA@CHI: Bedard sets career high with five-point night

"He's obviously a very driven player," said Tavares, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. "Extremely talented. Deserves all the recognition that he's getting. I just love the way he carries himself. He reminds me a lot of [Sidney Crosby] in how he deals with people and how he is around the locker room. Just extremely passionate about the game and just loves the game. It's definitely on his mind 24/7, which is awesome to see.

"It's just great to get to know him away from the rink and certain things, and to be around him. He's definitely a sponge. You can tell he just wants to take things all in and learn and get better. He's just scratching the surface.

"I think he's driven to be a difference-maker and help his team win. As a player, that's what you always try to do, and someone with his skill set and that much belief in himself and ability, he wants to go out there, influence the game as best he can, and do what's necessary to win."

After Worlds, Bedard will flip his attention back to the Blackhawks and helping them take the next step toward returning to playoff contention.

It'll be a team approach, he said.

"Just keep growing together," Bedard said. "We've got a good young core. Experience is big. Growing up together. This year was frustrating but we learned a lot. I think we're kind of at the bottom right now. Just keep building, keep getting better, and eventually be a really good team in the League. That's our goal of course.

"It's fun to have that young group and keep building."