Apr 2, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) takes a shot on goal during the second period against the Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Hedman on the Road to Sochi for Team Sweden

Yesterday, Sweden extended invitations to 35 players to attend their Olympic Orientation Camp this year. One of the names on that list should be very familiar to fans in the Bolts Nation; Victor Hedman.

Today will start the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman’s journey to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games taking place from February 7th23rd in Sochi, Russia.

You can see the complete Orientation Camp roster for Sweden’s National Team here.

Last season, the 6’6” defenseman scored 4 goals and 16 assists for a total of 20 points to go along with his plus-1 rating.

Lightning fans noticed a significant change in Hedman’s play last season. The 22-year old Swedish defenseman seemed to take a much more offensive stance on the defense, something that the Lightning have been missing for quite a while now.

I attribute this to the time he spent with Barys Astana of the KHL during the NHL Lockout.

In the 26 games he played with Barys Astana last season, Hedman scored one goal and 21 assists for a total of 22 points, leading the defensemen in points. He also maintained a plus-18 rating.

Since he returned to the Bolts, he has been hitting harder, and more often, making plays, and doing more than just blocking shots; making some of his own.

Hedman will be amongst some elite company at Sweden’s Orientation Camp.

Twelve players from the 2010 team were invited to try out for the 2014 Olympic team. Among them are goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, defensemen Niklas Kronwall from the Detroit Red Wings, Henrik Tallinder from the Buffalo Sabres, Johnny Oduya from the Blackhawks, and Douglas Murray, who is a free agent, and on the offense there are Henrik and Daniel Sedin from the Vancouver Canucks, Nicklas Backstrom from the Washington Capitals, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen from the Detroit Red Wings, Loui Eriksson from the Boston Bruins, and finally Patric Hornqvist from the Nashville Predators.

Surely, the Swedes will be looking to get back on top and avenge their loss in Vancouver and regain the gold as they did in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino.

Orientation Camp for Team Sweden will take place from August 12th – 14th in Stockholm.

The 2014 Winter Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament will run from February 12thFebruary 23rd.

Will Victor Hedman make the final roster for Team Sweden?

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Tags: 2014 Winter Olympic Games Sochi Tampa Bay Lightning Team Sweden Victor Hedman

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