ST. PAUL, MN — It was only an exhibition featuring prospects, yet the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft did what he could to live up to the incredible hype surrounding himself.

Leave it to Connor Bedard to steal the show the first time he stepped onto the ice for a competition of any kind as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

On Saturday, the center took the ice for the first time at the Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase in St. Paul, Minnesota, and made an immediate impact. Bedard registered a hat trick while also dishing out an assist in a 5-0 victory over a group of prospects from the St. Louis Blues.

In the second period, Bedard got the puck on the right side of the net and fired a wrist shot into the goal from the circle to put the Blackhawks up 1-0. Later in the second period, the center got the puck in the mid-slot, then moved his way around defenders to the left before putting another shot into the goal from a difficult angle.

In the third period, Bedard once again took the pass in front of the net, then made his way to his right before firing the puck to the lower left side of the net for the hat trick.

“It was fun,” said Bedard of the contest. “Finally play in a game. It was really a good pace out there, physical. Yeah, we had a lot of fun, so it’s good to kinda get that first one in, and go from there.”

Bedard didn’t play in the second game against the Wild’s prospects on Sunday and now is preparing for the start of his first NHL training camp. The Blackhawks are scheduled to take the ice for their first practice on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Fifth Third Arena.