TORONTO -- Connor Bedard is still recovering from a fractured jaw he sustained nearly a month ago, but that didn’t stop him from being a special guest passer at the NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook at Scotiabank Arena on Friday.

The Chicago Blackhawks center, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, was a guest passer with his idol, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, during the Tim Hortons NHL One Timers, the second contest of the competition. Bedard passed to Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal, and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, who won the event with 23 points.

“It’s good. I mean, obviously not doing a lot but taking it all in,” Bedard said. “Just watching these guys is a lot of fun. Obviously being in Toronto, a pretty big hockey market, it’s cool to see the turnout. It’s fun.

“Of course, you want to be (playing in the All-Star Game), but I’m grateful to be here and I get to enjoy it.”

Connor Bedard on what All-Star weekend means to him

Barzal has known Bedard since he was 12. Both players are from British Columbia.

“I’ve kind of seen him grow up so it was fun to have him here,” Barzal said. “I was giving him some heck that he wasn’t hitting my wheelhouse. The first pass I sent back to him. No, he’s a great kid and I’m glad he could make it out today because he’s the future of the game. Nice for him to show his face tonight.”

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers won the All-Star Skills.

"Obviously you feel for him,” McDavid said of Bedard. “You know, getting hurt [stinks] no matter who you are, especially someone that is so devoted to the game as he is. It's a bad break and I'm sure he's wishing he can be partaking in some of the events. It was great to see him on the ice looking healthy and looking like he is close to coming back. It was great to see him out there."

Bedard was named to the 2024 Honda (U.S)/Rogers (Canada) NHL All-Star Game (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS) on Jan. 4. The next day, he sustained a fractured jaw on a hit from New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith in the slot in the first period of a 4-2 loss at Prudential Center. He left the ice with his hand at his mouth.

MacKinnon wins Tim Hortons NHL One Timers

The 18-year-old had surgery three days later; he is expected to miss another 3-5 weeks. Bedard resumed skating Jan. 15 but Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said the timeline for Bedard’s return remains unchanged.

Bedard leads the Blackhawks and all NHL rookies with 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 39 games. Defenseman Brock Faber of the Minnesota Wild is second among rookies with 29 points (four goals, 25 assists) in 49 games.

Bedard has impressed NHL coaches and players with his poise and talent this season.

“Impressive. Very, very impressive for a kid that age, coming in and doing what he does with the poise with the puck and the vision and the skill level he has, very, very impressive,” Winnipeg Jets coach Rick Bowness said Thursday. Bedard has played Winnipeg twice.

“He jumps out at you. He’s worth the price of admission, without a doubt.”

MacKinnon, who played against Bedard twice this season, expects Bedard to pick up where he left off when he is healthy again.

“It doesn’t seem like he gets rusty,” he said Thursday. “Yeah, I expect more of the same. Obviously, he’s their best player and it’s a lot for an 18-year-old to be the best player on the team.

“I was fortunate enough where, I wasn’t nearly as good as him (at 18) but also, I was like the 10th-best player on the team. So, it was an easier transition for me at a young age. He's an awesome talent and awesome kid too. He works super hard, definitely asks questions and is a sponge, for sure.”

Unfortunately, Bedard couldn’t do more during All-Star festivities. If he could have, which event did he think he would’ve won?

“I don’t think I’d win any, but it’d be fun to compete and go against these guys,” he said. senior writer Dan Rosen contributed to this report.

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