Victor Hedman (Credit: Tampa Bay Lightning)

Having Reached The 700-Point Plateau, Where Does Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman Rank Among Defensemen?

Victor Hedman (Credit: Tampa Bay Lightning)
Victor Hedman (Credit: Tampa Bay Lightning)

TAMPA, Fla. – Milestones continued to be achieved in the Lightning’s 6-3 win over the Devils at Amalie Arena on Saturday evening, their eighth win in nine games heading into a 10-day break wrapped around this weekend’s all-star festivities in Toronto.

Victor Hedman recorded his 700th career point when he assisted on Nick Paul’s second-period goal, the first of three assists for No. 77. Hedman is the 29th defenseman in NHL history to reach that plateau and he is fourth among active blueliners, trailing Brent Burns (885), Erik Karlsson (795) and Kris Letang (720). Ray Bourque is No. 1 all-time with 1,579 points.

Hedman picked up his first point in his NHL debut, a season-opening loss at Atlanta on October 3, 2009. The 18-year-old, selected second overall by Tampa Bay a few months earlier, assisted on a second-period goal by Martin St. Louis. Saturday night was his 1,022nd game with the Bolts.

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“It’s special and to do it in one spot, the same team, same organization,” said Hedman, who reached 50 points for the seventh time.

Who is next on the list of defensemen in career scoring? Well, with 702 points Hedman is eight behind Doug Mohns, who spent most of his 22-year career in the Original Six era. The 36-year-old Letang’s 720 points, including 29 this season, put him at No. 27.

Hedman, who is averaging a point per game this season, needs 21 points in the Bolts’ remaining 32 games to tie Dave Babych for 26th. Scott Niedermayer is 25th with 740 points. Hedman’s rookie campaign of 2009-10 was the last of 18 seasons in Niedermayer’s hall-of-fame career. They met twice that season.

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