Lightning sign defenseman Victor Hedman to 8-year, $63 million extension

TAMPA BAY — The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Victor Hedman to an eight-year contract extension worth $7.875-milion per season, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced Friday.

Hedman, 25, played in 78 games with the Lightning last season, collecting 10 goals and 47 points to go along with a plus-21 rating and 46 penalty minutes. He led all Lightning defensemen for goals, assists (37), points and plus/minus. Hedman led all Lightning skaters for plus/minus, average time on ice (23:03), takeaways (48) and blocked shots (132). His plus-21 rating was a new career high.

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The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden native has skated in 470 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past seven seasons, registering 49 goals and 229 points to go along with a plus-30 rating and 384 penalty minutes. He’s led all Tampa Bay defensemen for goals in each of his past three seasons and has finished in the top two among Bolt blueliners for scoring in all seven seasons with the club.

"We are very pleased to announce the signing of Victor Hedman to an eight-year contract extension. Victor has matured into one of the top defensemen in the NHL and coming off the recent re-signing of our captain, Steven Stamkos,  we’ve secured another extremely important member of our team," Yzerman said upon making the announcement. "I’m very appreciative of both Victor and Peter Wallen’s efforts to reach an agreement with us at this time."

Hedman currently ranks third all-time in franchise history among defensemen for career points with 229, behind Dan Boyle (253) and Pavel Kubina (243). He is also second all-time among defensemen for assists (180) and fourth for goals (49). Hedman ranks third all-time among Tampa Bay defensemen for games played, trailing Pavel Kubina (662) and Cory Sarich (490).

The 6-foot-6, 223-pound defenseman also appeared in 17 Stanley Cup playoff games in 2016, posting four goals and 14 points, ranking tied for the team lead with 10 assists. Hedman has played in 65 career NHL playoff games, recording six goals and 37 points to go along with 30 penalty minutes. He has reached the Eastern Conference Final in three of his seven seasons with the Lightning (2011, 2015, 2016). He is the Bolts’ all-time playoff leader for points, goals, assists and plus/minus among defensemen.

Hedman was originally drafted by the Lightning in the first round, second overall, at the 2009 NHL Draft.