Goals have not been a common occurrence for Victor Hedman. He only has twelve in three NHL seasons.
While goal-scoring is not the first job description of a defenseman, Hedman is not your normal defenseman. He stands 6-6 and was the number two overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft.
So during the NHL lockout, Hedman went to the KHL.
He worked on his offense, especially on the power play. He has yet to score a power play goal in his NHL career.
"It was perfect for me to go there and keep playing games, and that's what I needed to do to develop my game," Hedman said. He logged minutes on the power play and totaled 20 points in 26 KHL games.
"It's going to be tougher [to score] here [in the NHL]. I know that. I still think it gave me a little boost," he said.
Hedman even made the KHL all-star game, which was held this past Sunday. But Hedman wasn't there. As soon as the NHL lockout was over, he was back on a plane to Florida for Lightning training camp.
"We play in the NHL so that's where we belong," said Hedman.
Considering the record low for January in Astana is -60 degrees Fahrenheit, Hedman's decision to return to Tampa was an easy one. "When we were going on the road there, our plane froze so we were delayed there for about eight or nine hours," he said.
"It was really cold back there so when we landed here, it was like coming to heaven."
Because of Hedman's size, age, skill and KHL play, he's considered a player who could have a breakout season. The Lightning certainly hope so.