Victor Hedman Wins 2018 Norris Trophy

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2018

Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman poses on the red carpet before the NHL Awards, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman was awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman for the 2017-18 season at the league's awards show in Las Vegas on Wednesday. He beat out fellow finalists P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings

Hedman was an offensive force during the regular season and tied Philadelphia's Ivan Provorov and Calgary's Dougie Hamilton for the most goals by a blueliner with 17. He also tallied 46 assists on his way to the first Norris of his career.

Hedman also became the first player in Lightning franchise history to capture the award. He was also named a finalist for the honor last year but lost out to Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks

His 63 points this season were the second-best mark of his career behind only last season's effort of 72 points. He has developed into a critical member of the Lightning's attack and posted an impressive plus-minus of plus-32, per ESPN.com.

Hedman's offense was a primary reason the Lightning finished with an Eastern Conference-best 113 points, but he was an important presence on defense as well and was fifth in the league in ice time per game.

Without Hedman anchoring the defensive unit, Tampa Bay likely wouldn't have advanced to the Eastern Conference Final. 

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He was rewarded for his efforts Wednesday.