Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 Greatest Moments In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

41. Tampa Bay Lightning Drafts Victor Hedman

Date: June 2009

After selecting Steven Stamkos with the number one overall selection of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning would once again find themselves toward the top of the NHL Draft board again, this time at the number two spot behind only the New York Islanders.

There were many great prospects in this draft class, including John Tavares, Victor Hedman, Evander Kane, and Matt Duchene, and after the Islanders selected Tavares with the number one overall selection, the Tampa Bay Lightning quickly scooped up Victor Hedman, a 6’6 232 lb mobile Swedish defenseman who they hoped would be the cornerstone of the blue line for many years to come.

Here was the scouting report of Chris Ralph of The Hockey Writers during Hedman’s draft year.

"A fast and smooth skating defenseman, offensively and defensively sound and is 6’6” 220lbs and only recently turned 18?!? Is he genetically engineered? Nope! It’s one Victor Hedman who’s a shoe in to go second overall in June, with more than a few GMs considering him at first overall. Iwas, in fact, contemplating ranking him at numero uno, given the rarity of such a combination in a defenseman of size, skill and skating ability. In the end, I had to give Tavares the slight edge."

Hedman has done nothing but impress during his seven NHL seasons with the Lightning, and continues to gain notoriety as one of the top blue liners in the league. His name has even been thrown in the Norris Trophy race a few times, an award that goes to the league’s top defenseman.

Next: Lightning Add Sydor To The Blue Line