With the NHL lockout finally over it’s time to take a look at some key players on the verge of big seasons.
Analysis: Victor Hedman is now twenty-two years old and has yet to perform up to his second overall pick status. But if we take a look at what Hedman has done over the past year and a half we can clearly see his play is improving. Last year Hedman only put up 23 points but he did so in just 61 games. Had he played a full 82 game season Hedman would have posted 31 points which would not have been bad for a then twenty-one year old defenseman who was also 39th in time on ice last year among defenseman.
Fast forward to this season in the KHL and we have ourselves a rising star. Hedman is 10th in the KHL in points among defenseman despite playing at least ten fewer games than all nine players in front of him. He’ll return to a Tampa squad that was 8th in goals last year and upgraded their goaltending situation in the offseason. ESPN has Hedman as the 55th best defenseman this year behind Dmitry Kulikov(also a rising D-man) who is 39th in ESPN’s rankings. Kulikov is 103rd among KHL defenseman this year with 6 points in 22 games. If these awful rankings stick(one has to think ESPN will copy more informed experts at some point) Hedman is one of the big draft day value picks.