TAMPA -- Victor Hedman, the No. 2 overall pick in last spring's NHL entry draft, is certainly a big deal for hockey fans here on the Gulf Coast.
But last night, Hedman was upstaged by a fellow Swedish rookie defenceman -- Carl Gunnarsson -- who, in just six career games, is fighting his way to becoming a top four on the Maple Leafs blue line.
Paired with Francois Beauchemin during the Leafs' 4-3 win over Tampa last night, the 23-year-old logged 24:26 of ice time -- second most on the team -- earned three assists, was a plus-3 and impressed his new defence partner.
"He doesn't make too many mistakes and he's good offensively as he is defensively," said Beauchemin, who spent most of the game lining up against the top Lightning line of Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone and Vincent Lecavalier.
"I try not to think too much about it," Gunnarsson said of checking the opponent's big guns. "Just play solid defensively and not give them too much time."