Report: The Tampa Bay Lightning Want Elitserien Rookie of the Year Victor Hedman

Martin AverySenior Writer IApril 2, 2009

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 5:  Victor Hedman #4 of Team Sweden watches post game ceremonies after being defeated by Team Canada during the Gold Medal Game of the IIHF World Junior Championships at Scotiabank Place on January 05, 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  Team Canada defeated Team Sweden 5-1.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Victor Hedman was recently named the Rookie of the Year in the Swedish Elite League and the Tampa Bay Lightning want to take him above John Tavares in the NHL Entry Draft.

Tavares is considered the No. 1 draft pick, with Hedman close behind, but the Lightning are looking for a defenceman as they already have Steven Stamkos.

Hedman is a young Swedish defenseman who plays for Modo Hockey in the Elitserien, or the Swedish Elite League, the highest-level ice hockey league in Sweden, generally regarded as one of the top leagues in Europe alongside the Czech Extraliga, the Finnish SM-liiga, the Swiss Nationalliga A and the Russian Kontinental Hockey League.

Even if the Lightning get the first pick the NHL Entry Draft, there they will likely take the 6'6", 220-pound Swedish defenseman, according to Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times.

Hedman may be the best defenceman to come out of Sweden since Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Lightning are in second last place in the NHL. The team that finishes last has a 48.2 percent chance in the draft lottery of gaining the No. 1 overall pick; 18.8 percent if it finishes 29th.

Finishing last guarantees a team will not pick any lower than second. If the Islanders pick first, they are expected to take Tavares.

Lottery rules dictate any of the bottom five teams can end up with the No. 1 pick. Other teams will try to trade into the No. 1 position.