Why Did Connor Bedard Choose the Number 98? Unraveling the Story

James Felix

Updated on:

why did connor bedard choose number 98

In the world of sports, jersey numbers often carry a significance that extends beyond the playing field. Connor Bedard, the prodigious talent making waves in hockey, chose the number 98, sparking curiosity and intrigue.

This seemingly unconventional choice has become emblematic of Bedard’s journey from a young enthusiast paying tribute to Wayne Gretzky to a top draft pick in the NHL.

The story behind why Bedard opted for 98 is a tapestry of personal connection, unwavering confidence, and a commitment to forging a unique legacy.

In delving into this choice, one unravels not just a number but a pivotal thread in Bedard’s evolving narrative.

Why Did Connor Bedard Choose the Number 98?

At just five years old, Connor Bedard’s connection with the number 98 began. Eager to emulate his idol Wayne Gretzky’s 99, Bedard settled on 98 when 87 and 97 were already taken.

This childhood decision laid the foundation for a unique journey, marking the beginning of his distinctive identity on the ice.

Confidence Beyond His Years: “I’m 98”

Bedard’s early declaration, “I’m 98,” showcased a precocious confidence. Even as a child, he exuded a self-assuredness that hinted at the strong-willed character that would define his future in the world of hockey.

From Youth Hockey to Junior Dominance: 98 Stays

Bedard’s loyalty to the number 98 endured as he progressed through youth hockey to dominate the junior leagues.

This choice became synonymous with his exceptional skills, marking each stride in his journey with a number that embodied his determination and individuality.

International Glory: 98 on the World Stage

International Glory: 98 on the World Stage

Beyond Canadian leagues, Bedard carried the number 98 onto the international stage.

Representing Canada at the World Junior Championship, he contributed to a gold medal win in 2023. Number 98 became not just a personal identifier but a symbol of national pride and achievement.

Carving His Own Path

For Bedard, number 98 isn’t merely a jersey number; it symbolizes his willingness to be different and forge a unique legacy.

It’s a declaration of intent, reflecting his commitment to challenging the status quo and leaving an indelible mark on the history of hockey.

Rookie Season with the Blackhawks

As Bedard embarks on his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks, the number 98 remains a badge of honor.

Amidst high expectations, he proudly wears it, signaling the beginning of a journey where he has the chance to etch his own legacy alongside the iconic 99 worn by his childhood idol.

In the Shadows of Icons: 98 Amongst Legends

Bedard’s choice of 98 sets him apart in a league where numbers like 1 to 35 are the norm. Unlike those who emulate the greats, Bedard embraces the uniqueness of 98.

In a league where Gretzky’s 99 is untouchable, Bedard’s 98 signifies not imitation, but a distinctive path to greatness.

Bedard’s Journey in Digits

While most see a jersey number as a formality, Bedard’s 98 encapsulates a journey. From childhood dreams to international triumphs, each chapter is woven into those two digits.

Bedard wears not just a number, but a narrative—a story that started at five and is still unfolding on the grand stage of professional hockey.

98: A Legacy in the Making

As Bedard strides onto the ice, number 98 blazes a trail of potential and promise. It’s not just a number; it’s a statement—a symbol of a young talent unafraid to carve his legacy.

Bedard’s 98 stands poised to become more than a jersey; it’s the beginning of a story that could redefine what it means to wear a number in the NHL.

How the Choice of Number 98 Contribute to Connor Bedard’s Identity as a Player?

How the Choice of Number 98 Contribute to Connor Bedard’s Identity as a Player?

In a league dominated by numbers like 1 to 35, Connor Bedard’s choice of 98 immediately sets him apart.

This unconventional selection is a deliberate departure from the conventional, signaling Bedard’s intention to forge a distinctive identity rather than conform to established norms.

A Tribute to Greatness

Bedard’s selection of 98 stems from a desire to pay homage to Wayne Gretzky’s iconic 99. When faced with unavailable options like 87 and 97, Bedard opted for the next best thing, cementing his connection to the legendary figure.

However, his choice goes beyond emulation, representing a player willing to tread his own path while acknowledging the greats who came before.

Symbol of Confidence

The now-famous response, “I’m 98,” uttered by a five-year-old Bedard, isn’t just a childhood anecdote. It’s a snapshot of the unwavering self-confidence that has come to define him.

Bedard’s attachment to 98 is a symbol of conviction and self-assurance, qualities that contribute significantly to his identity as a player on and off the ice.

Personal Narrative Woven in Digits

Bedard’s journey is intricately woven into the fabric of the number 98. From his early years with the Vancouver Vipers to his international triumphs, each stride and goal carry the weight of that number.

It’s not just a numerical identifier; it’s a visual narrative of his growth, achievements, and the promise of a bright future in the world of professional hockey.

Unafraid to Be Different

Choosing 98 isn’t merely a jersey selection for Bedard; it’s a commitment to being different. It signifies a player unafraid to challenge the status quo and carve a unique legacy in the annals of hockey history.

Bedard’s identity as a player is, in part, defined by his bold choice, reflecting an individuality that extends beyond his performance on the ice.

On-Ice Swagger

Bedard’s on-ice prowess is intertwined with the power of the number 98. From lightning-fast rushes to precise shots, every move is executed with the swagger of a player who owns his identity.

The number on his back isn’t just a digit; it’s a source of confidence that radiates through his gameplay, making Bedard a force to be reckoned with.

Motivation in Digits

The number 98 isn’t just a passive identifier; it’s a constant motivator for Bedard. It serves as a reminder of the journey he embarked upon at a young age and the expectations that come with it.

Bedard’s competitive spirit is fueled by the significance of the digits on his jersey, pushing him to continually strive for excellence and make a lasting impact in the hockey world.

Fan Connection

Bedard’s choice of 98 creates a unique bond with fans. Beyond being a player’s number, it becomes a symbol of inspiration for aspiring hockey enthusiasts.

Young players now see 98 as a mark of individuality and possibility, connecting with Bedard’s journey.

The number transcends the ice, symbolizing a shared passion for the sport and the belief that one can stand out in their own way.


Why did Connor Bedard choose the number 98?

Bedard chose 98 as a nod to his hockey idol, Wayne Gretzky, whose iconic 99 was unavailable. It reflects his desire to pay homage while embracing individuality.

Was 98 his first choice, or were other numbers considered?

Bedard initially aimed for numbers close to Gretzky’s, like 87 and 97, but they were taken. Settling on 98, he expressed unwavering confidence, declaring, “I’m 98.”

Does Bedard’s choice of 98 hold any personal significance?

Bedard’s attachment to 98 goes beyond homage; it symbolizes his journey from youth hockey to international success. The number is a marker of his growth and achievements.

Has Bedard ever considered changing his number?

No, Bedard has stuck with number 98 throughout his hockey career. The choice has become a part of his identity, representing his determination and unique path in the sport.

How does Bedard view the significance of number 98 in his career?

Bedard sees 98 as more than just a jersey number; it’s a symbol of confidence, individuality, and a commitment to forging his own legacy in hockey.

To Recap

In choosing the number 98, Connor Bedard crafted more than a mere jersey identifier; he fashioned a symbol of homage, personal conviction, and a distinct path in hockey.

Rooted in childhood admiration for Wayne Gretzky, Bedard’s selection transcends imitation, reflecting a player unafraid to be different.

From a five-year-old’s confident declaration to international triumphs, 98 weaves through Bedard’s narrative, embodying growth and promise.

As Bedard steps onto the NHL stage, the number remains a testament to his individuality, a constant motivator, and a connection with fans, solidifying its place as a vital element in the story of a rising hockey star.

Photo of author

James Felix

As Head Boy's Ice Hockey Coach at Milton Academy, I foster teamwork, discipline, and skill development. Our success relies on dedication and refining tactics. We balance academics with on-ice performance, shaping well-rounded individuals. Together, we uphold Milton Academy's tradition of excellence in athletics and academics. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment