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Hedman wins Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman takes home the honor as the NHL's top defenseman

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Hedman wins the Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman wins the Norris Trophy

Lightning Defenseman Victor Hedman reacts to winning the James Norris Memorial Trophy

  • 02:10 •

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the National Hockey League's best defenseman during the 2017-18 season, as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Hedman was named on 163 of 164 ballots and garnered 94 first-place votes to accumulate 1,385 points, outpacing the Los Angeles Kings' Drew Doughty (1,164 points) and the Nashville Predators' P.K. Subban (565 points) to capture the award.

"This is pretty amazing," Hedman said as he was handed the Norris Trophy Wednesday night at the 2018 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Hedman is the first Lightning defenseman to win the Norris Trophy. It's also the first time winning the award for the 27-year-old Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, native, who finished third in voting last season.

Tweet from @TBLightning: VICTOR HEDMAN IS A NORRIS TROPHY WINNER!!!AND he is the first defenseman to win it in franchise history.Congrats, @heds77! ���������� pic.twitter.com/unJdbl84WZ

In his acceptance speech, Hedman expressed gratitude to the Lightning organization, including owner Jeff Vinik, general manager Steve Yzerman and the coaching staff.

"Thank you for believing in me and putting me in a position to succeed," he said.

Hedman set career highs for goals (17), ranking tied for first among NHL defensemen, and plus-minus (+32), second among League blueliners, during the 2017-18 regular season. Hedman was fifth among NHL defensemen for scoring (63 points) and power-play scoring (26 points), and his career-high 25:51 average time on ice ranked fifth overall in the NHL.

Hedman became the first Lightning defenseman to record back-to-back seasons of 60 or more points.

In his acceptance speech, Hedman also had a message for Lightning fans.

"You guys are the best," he said. "Thanks for all the support throughout the nine years."

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