During Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman set a new franchise record for all-time points by a blueliner.
The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped another tough loss on Saturday after they lost 3-2 (2-1) in the shootout to the Edmonton Oilers. Despite the defeat, Lightning stalwart Victor Hedman set a new record for overall points scored by a defenseman and surpassed former Bolts defenseman Dan Boyle with his assist on Jonathan Drouin‘s goal in the second period.
He now has 254 career assists and will look to build upon that as his career progresses. There’s no doubt Hedman will continue to rack up assists and create a gap between him and the rest of the field.
This came just over a month after Hedman passed Boyle on the all-time assists list for Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen when he notched his 188th career helper. It’s not every day that a Lightning player sets a new record or passes someone on the all-time list, and the 26-year-old Sweden native has done it twice already this season.
Hedman also happened to do this on the night before his birthday, and the assist also came on the game-tying-goal late in the second period, which allowed the Lightning to carry some much-needed momentum into the third period.
For some perspective, Boyle notched 253 assists in 394 games with the Lightning, while it took Hedman 502 games, which is 108 games more, to notch his 254th assist. However, both defensemen either lost a season due to the lockout or only played in a half of a season for the same reason, which prevented them from adding more to those totals.
During those lockout seasons, both defensemen played overseas, as Boyle played in 32 games in the Swedish Hockey League and Hedman played in 26 games for Barys Astana in the KHL.
In terms of overall team records, Hedman is 45 assists behind former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vinny Prospal for fifth all-time in assists and five points behind former Lightning forward Chris Gratton for eight all-time in points. Those goals certainly are not out of reach for him, as Hedman will be with the Lightning for the next eight years after signing a massive contract extension over the summer.
After being drafted second overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Victor Hedman has developed into one of the league’s more elite defensemen and his play on the ice and numbers on the stats sheet certainly prove that point. It’s only a matter of time before he moves up in the rankings again, and he’ll continue to get better as the seasons progress.