NHL Players

Connor Bedard Tape Job, Stick Flex and Length

By Abhay Acharya / 26 September 2023 03:47 AM

Source : instagram

Connor Bedard binds the blade from the toe to the heel with tape exposing a tiny bit of the toe. He uses patterns instead of puck marks.

As the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL draft, Bedard has been the talk of the town since he joined the Chicago Blackhawks this summer. He is eminent for his superior puck-handling skills, agility, and speed. 

Bedard, at such a young age (18 years), led the Canadian Men's National U20 Ice Hockey Team to two consecutive gold medals in the 2022 and 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships.

With a total of 23 points in 7 games with 14 assists and 9 goals, he set numerous international and national records. He was presented with the IIHF Male Player of the Year award in 2023. 

This North Vancouver-born center forward played for the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League before being drafted by the Blackhawks.

During his tenure with the Pats, Connor was awarded with Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy in 2021 along with the WHL Player of the Year and CHL Player of the Year in 2023. 

Connor Bedard Stick Tape Guide

Bedard tapes his blade alternately through his seasons since the advent of his career. The most recent being the classic toe-heel big sock. 

Since taping helps protect the blade from tear and/or wear, augments the grip on the shaft of the stick, and grants the optimization of the knob size per one's comfort, each player tapes their stick uniquely with Bedard no exception.

In addition, taping the stick helps improve accuracy by amplifying stick handling due to improved grip on the shaft, which ultimately aids in augmenting power behind each shot. 

The generational hockey talent is known among his former teammates as the one with the weirdest tape job. He uses patterns in place of puck marks and alters them almost every game. The patterns mostly include boxes, triangles, circles, and lines altering within. 

Furthermore, Connor once said in an interview that his lines are messy and can't tape the stick properly. Hence, his patterns mostly illustrate a triangle on top of a circle with a triangle in the middle and a box along the heel. 

Regardless, the fineness of a tape job won't define the game, however, it does give the player a bit of assist during the long run. Hence, using patterns to represent them could mentally ease the players into giving their best during the games.

Source : instagram

Primarily, Bedard removes the cap of his stick and creates a knob by wrapping around the top with a standard white tape about 10 times.

Following the knob, lizard skin is wrapped around the knob with a little bit hanging off the top, covering down the shaft with six rounds in total and sealing the taping twice with white tape. 

Following the up-top taping, Bedard tapes the blade of his stick from the toe to partially up the heel as a full sock, leaving a bit of the toe exposed, realizing the classic toe-heel big sock simply known as The Sock.

Thereafter, he pushes down the seams on the blade's front and back with a puck to realize that finely finished and durable tape job we see during his games. 

In contrast, he used the half-sock or the toe cap tape job during his championship where he taped the blade from the toe, covering only the blade in half. He maintained the shaft taping the same as present. 

What stick does Connor Bedard use?

Connor Bedard has been using the Sherwood Rekker Legend Pro hockey stick since the draft. Previously, he used the Bauer AG5NT stick. 

The Rekker Legend Pro is a low kick stick that evenly matches Connor's playing style, allowing him to flex the stick faster and quickly release the puck. The stick itself is also lighter with even weight distribution, aiding him to unleash his full potential in the game.

Moreover, the stick utilizes an innovative DuoFire kick point that not only aids in lightning-fast deliveries but also in generating explosive shots when required.

The shaft of this stick is made using a 25K carbon weave to maintain loftier balance all through the stick and limit the overall stick's weight to around 392 grams, which is comparatively heavier than his previous stick.

Source : instagram

Before signing an exclusive deal with Sherwood Hockey in August 2023, Connor played the Junior Championship with the Bauer AG5NT hockey stick that weighed around 335 grams, earning the title of the lightest hockey stick throughout the market.

This stick had a low kick and cutting-edge precision that amplified Bedard's swift and quick shots, surprising the goaltenders. In addition, the Bauer AG5NT is a P92 mid-toe curve hockey stick that has a flux number of 70. The same combination is used by Connor in his current stick.

The material used in the AG5NT stick, i.e., the combination of BORON and carbon fiber contributed to its lightweight design and Bauer's fastest-release stick model ever made title. 

Presently, Connor uses the PP92 mid-toe curve hockey stick that opens up and notably curves to the blade's toe from its middle. This is a larger curve that is perfect for saucer passing, stick handling, and shooting.

Connor Bedard stick length has always been longer than the standard sticks. These standards vary per the manufacturer and model of the stick.

Most manufacturers consider the standard hockey stick length from the butt end (cap end) to the heel to be 60 inches, the suitability of which vary per player. There is no precise measurement for the suitable stick length for a specific player.

Hence, the most common way to determine the right stick length is to place the stick vertically on the ground with the toe at the bottom and compare it against the respective player without the skates. If the tip of the stick aligns with the player's nose, it is deemed the most suitable. 

Furthermore, Connor Bedard stick flex resides in the low-flex region of 70 flex, delivering him with a higher bend and flexible blade that ultimately assists in releasing greater power shots. 

Connor Bedard stick specs

KindSherwood Rekker Legend Pro
CurvePP92 curve
Weight392 grams
LengthLonger than standard

What flex does Connor Bedard use?

Connor Bedard uses 70 flex for his stick to deliver quick and powerful shots during his games. 70 flex normally ranges in the low-flex region. 

Simply put, flex is the measurement of the amount of force essential to bend the stick 1 inch. Flex is directly related to stiffness as it defines the stiffness of a stick. The higher the flex, the stiffer the stick. 

Bedard plays center-right and is known for his swift passes, quick puck release, and efficient stick-handling, which to an extent is assisted by the flex he uses in his stick.

With 70 flex sticks, it is a bit difficult for players to accurately hit the target. However, due to his playing nature and skills, Connor brings the best out of this soft-side stick, augmenting his power and delivery time in his every shot as presented during his games.

Source : twitter

Bedard possesses a unique trait of leaning toward the puck while making a shot to deliver a highly accurate shot that rarely misses the target regardless of the low flex of the stick that due to its whippy nature could reduce the accuracy in exchange for higher shot power. 

A low flex usually means the amount of force required to bend the blades is low such that while scraping the blade on the ice for a shot a few inches behind the puck the blade bends quickly, allowing it to recoil right at the contact with the puck and acting as a spring. This amplifies the power behind the shot. 

However, due to its bendy nature, the low-flex stick is hard to control accurately and needs a lot of practice and skill to be able to utilize it to its full potential.

With the 2023-24 NHL season very near, fans are keen to watch how the highly rated Bedard will fare on the biggest stage of ice hockey.

Related post of NHL Players