The Tampa Bay Lightning made an incredible decision when they selected defenseman Victor Hedman with the second overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft.
Hedman has been everything that the Lightning wanted and more when they first took him. On Monday night, he played in his 1000th career game which made it fun to look back on everything.
In his career, he has 148 goals, 529 assists, and 677 points. Despite bringing all of that offense from the back end, he has been incredible on the defensive side of things as well.
His production has also been notable in the playoffs which is a big reason that the Lightning have won the Stanley Cup twice with him there. They have also played in two additional Finals during that time as well.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won with Victor Hedman playing his 1000th game
He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs for his run to the 2020 Stanley Cup. During that playoff season, he had 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points in 25 games while shutting down some of the best offensive players on the opposing teams.
Hedman’s 1000th game was celebrated in Tampa Bay when they took on the Dallas Stars. Oddly enough, the Stars are the team that Hedman won his first Cup (and Conn Smythe) against in 2020. He didn’t record a point but the Lightning won 4-1 at Amalie Arena.
Ahead of the game, a few people who are former teammates of Hedman recorded a video for him to send some well wishes. Ondrej Palat, Ryan McDonagh, Alex Killorn, and Pat Maroon were the ones in the video sending the nice messages.
This is a great celebration for the Lightning because of everything Hedman means to them. They wouldn’t have won one Stanley Cup, let alone two if Hedman never showed up.
After the match, Hedman was named the first star for it being his 1000th career game. He deserves the honor for everything he has accomplished.
With Steven Stamkos already in the mix (drafted first overall in 2008), they put an incredible supporting cast around them which is why they were as successful as they were.
Hedman is sure to be a Hall of Famer when it is all said and done. Honestly, if he retired at the end of this season he’d be a lock. We can only hope that there is a lot more hockey left to go for him.