Hedman signs five-year extension with Lightning

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The Tampa Bay Lightning has locked up Victor Hedman until 2017, signing the 20-year-old Swedish defenseman to a five-year, $20-million extension.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that we have agreed to a five-year contract with Victor,” said Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.  “He has shown tremendous growth as a player in just more than two seasons in the NHL while also becoming a key member of our team. We look forward to his continued development in a Lightning uniform.”

Hedman was drafted second overall in 2009, right behind John Tavares and right before Matt Duchene. Though he hasn’t enjoyed the same amount of success as those two, a defenseman often takes more time to develop than a forward. There will be glaring mistakes and stretches of poor play. Confidence will be gained and lost. And for defenseman, it’s much harder to hide out there.

Hedman has two goals and no assists in 20 games while averaging 22:55 of ice time. Two points isn’t many, but it has to be noted he very rarely gets time on the power play. His role on the Lightning is largely a defensive one.