Monday, March 9, 2009

Victor Hedman

By Gare JoyceSpecial to ESPN.comArchive
Going into this season, opinion among NHL scouts was divided.
Some liked forward John Tavares of the Ontario Hockey League as the first overall pick for the 2009 NHL draft; others preferred Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman. In fact, it's likely the majority saw Hedman as the probable No. 1 based on his performance at the 2008 world under-20 championship in the Czech Republic.
Hedman, who is 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, had been the silver-medal-winning Swedes' best blueliner, maybe their best player and arguably the most promising-looking prospect in the whole tournament. On the flip side, Tavares, a talented scorer, saw spot duty for Canada rather than a regular shift.

Richard Wolowicz/Getty ImagesSome scouts believe Victor Hedman's size (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) will help him make the quick jump to the NHL.
The rest of the season, Hedman was the youngest player taking a regular shift against former NHLers and emerging talents in the Swedish pro league, and he even made an appearance playing for the men's national team.

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