Mikael Backlund seems to be having the best season of his career so far. The first round draft pick from the 2007 Entry Draft has had his fair share of ups and downs since becoming part of the Calgary Flames. But this year seems to be his shining year.
In Backlund’s last five games, he’s earned six points. In 32 games last year, he had a total of 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists). This year he has improved to 25 points so far (11 goals, 14 assists) and the season isn’t over for him yet. During the 2010-2011 season, Backlund played 73 games all season and achieved 25 points in total, which should put this season in perspective for him. He’s getting progressively better and seems to be skating in the right direction.
With goals like this one, where he played a key role in carrying the puck into the opposition’s zone and ended up with the assist on Lee Stempniak‘s goal, Backlund proves that his offensive play has greatly improved as well as his confidence level.
Bob Hartley has seemingly noticed as well. As he explained in this write up on Flames Today on their website, Hartley expresses how he’s trying to support Mikael to help him improve on all levels, including his leadership role, which is why Backlund is now wearing the “A” on his jersey.
At 24 years old and playing his fifth season with the Flames franchise, Backlund is well on his way to being a serious powerhouse of a player. He works hard, he’s got the natural skills, and he seems to be fitting into his role on the team.
Keep up the great work, Backs!
Go Flames Go!