Tampa Bay Lightning Select D Victor Hedman with 2nd Overall Pick
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING SELECT D VICTOR HEDMAN WITH 2ND OVERALL PICK
TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have selected Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman with the second overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced. The pick marked the first time in franchise history Tampa Bay made a second overall selection.
"Victor's addition to the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight immediately makes us a better team," said Lawton. "In addition to his enormous size and great skating ability, he brings the Lightning a heightened maturity level for someone his age because of his two years of pro experience in Sweden. He brightens up our weakest area and we look for him to be a defensive anchor for a long, long time in Tampa."
Hedman, 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, was rated as the top European player and one of the top three players overall available in the draft according to NHL Central Scouting. He spent the 2008-09 season with MoDo of the Swedish Elite League where he earned Rookie of the Year honors as an 18-year-old. Hedman recorded seven goals and 21 points for MoDo in 43 games. He ranked second on the team, first among defensemen, in plus/minus rating with a plus-21 and was second among defensemen in points (only behind former NHL player Mattias Timander).
A native of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, Hedman represented his country in each of the previous two World Junior Championships, winning the Silver Medal twice. During the 2009 tournament he recorded two assists and had a plus-4 rating in six games as Sweden fell to Canada in the Gold Medal Game. In 2008, Hedman was named to the tournament all-star team after recording an assist and a plus-5 rating in six games. He also played for Sweden at the 2008 World Under-18 Championships, recording a goal and four points in four games.
Hedman has spent the majority of the previous two seasons with MoDo, playing in the Swedish Elite League. During his two-year professional career there he has amassed nine goals and 25 points with a plus-22 rating in 82 games. He also played in five post season games with MoDo in 2007-08, recording one goal.
With a population of less than 55,000, Hedman’s home town has a rich hockey tradition. Current and former NHL stars Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, Daniel and Hentrik Sedin and Niklas Sundstrom all hail from Ornskoldsvik.
The Lightning were awarded the second overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the NHL Draft Lottery on April 14, 2009. At the lottery the New York Islanders won the first overall pick while the Colorado Avalanche were assigned the third overall pick.
Hedman is the first player in Tampa Bay franchise history to be chosen second overall. The Lightning have chosen first overall three times (Stamkos 2008, Lecavalier 1998, Hamrlik 1992) and third overall twice (Svitov 2001, C. Gratton 1993).