Nicklas Bäckström
Nicklas Backstrom.jpg
Position Center
Shoots Left
Height
Weight
6 ft 1 in (0 m)
210 lb (95 kg)
NHL Team
F. Teams
Washington Capitals
Brynäs (SEL)
Born November 23 1987 (1987-11-23) (age 32),
Gävle, SWE
NHL Draft 4th overall, 2006
Washington Capitals
Pro Career 2004 – present
Website Backstrom19.com


Lars Nicklas Bäckström (born November 23, 1987) is a Swedish professional ice hockey center currently playing for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Early life[edit | edit source]

Bäckström's father Anders is a known Swedish hockey player who played his whole hockey career for Brynäs, totaling 10 seasons for the club. Nicklas' older brother Kristoffer is also a hockey player, but in the second tier of the Swedish league system with Hammarby.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Bäckström was a top prospect in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and was selected fourth overall by the Washington Capitals. With that, he became the fourth-highest drafted Swede, after Mats Sundin (first), Daniel Sedin (second), and Henrik Sedin (third). Victor Hedman was later picked second in 2009.

On July 10, 2006, it was announced that he had turned down an offer from Washington Capitals and had decided to play in Brynäs for at least one more season.

On May 21, 2007, Bäckström signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Washington Capitals, to begin playing during the 2007–08 NHL season.

On October 5, 2007, he scored his first NHL point, an assist on a goal by fellow Swede Michael Nylander, against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Upon his arrival to the NHL, Bäckström was solid but not spectacular as he made the transition to the smaller ice rinks of North America. However, after an injury to Nylander, Bäckström was promoted to the first line, where he flourished. Playing alongside Alexander Ovechkin, Bäckström set NHL and team records while helping Ovechkin win the Art Ross Trophy and the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy.

Bäckström was the runner up to Chicago's Patrick Kane for the Calder Trophy. Kane had 1,087 votes while Bäckström had 872 votes. The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews was third with 647. However, Bäckström was named to the All-Rookie Team along with Kane and Toews.[1]

In his second NHL season, Bäckström would go on to lead both the Capitals and Swedish NHL players with 66 assists, and added 22 goals for 88 points, placing him within the top ten NHL scorers in the 2008–09 regular season. Bäckström would again prove to be a force in the playoffs, tallying 15 points in 14 games.

Following the 2008–09 NHL playoffs, Bäckström was awarded the Viking Award for being the best Swedish-born player in the 2008–09 NHL season; he is only the second Capital to win this award, following behind Calle Johansson.

At the conclusion of the 2009-2010 NHL season, Backstrom finished 4th in League scoring with 101 points. Behind Henrik Sedin (112), Sidney Crosby (109), Alexander Ovechkin (109).

Bäckström scored his first career playoff hat trick, including the overtime game winner against The Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, round that they lost in 7 games.

On Monday 17 May 2010, Bäckström signed a 10 year, $67 million extension contract with the Washington Capitals.[2]

International play[edit | edit source]

Medal record
Competitor for Flag of Sweden.png Sweden
Men's ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 2006 Riga
World U18 Championships
Bronze 2005 Plzeň

He played his first game with the Swedish national team on April 6, 2006, in a game against Norway. He won the World Championship when he represented Sweden in the 2006 World Championship. As of that tournament he is the youngest Swedish player ever in an Ice Hockey World Championship tournament. Bäckström played the last four games in the WC (roster spot held open for Daniel Alfredsson) and was directly appointed to the first line together with idol Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzén.

On December 27, 2009, it was announced that Bäckström would play for Team Sweden in the 2010 Winter Olympics.[3]

Bäckström led Team Sweden in the 2010 Olympics with 6 points in 4 games before they were eliminated by Slovakia in the quarterfinals.[4]

Bäckström played for Sweden in:

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts +/– PIM GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2003–04 Brynäs IF J20 21 2 6 8 2 5 0 0 0 4
2004–05 Brynäs IF J20 29 17 17 34 24
2004–05 Brynäs IF SEL 19 0 0 0 2
2005–06 Brynäs IF SEL 46 10 16 26 30 4 1 0 1 2
2005–06 Brynäs IF J20 1 0 0 0 2
2006–07 Brynäs IF SEL 45 12 28 40 46 7 3 3 6 6
2007–08 Washington Capitals NHL 82 14 55 69 +13 24 7 4 2 6 +3 2
2008–09 Washington Capitals NHL 82 22 66 88 +16 46 14 3 12 15 +3 8
2009–10 Washington Capitals NHL 82 33 68 101 +37 50 7 5 4 9 +7 4
SEL totals 110 22 44 66 78 11 4 3 7 8
NHL totals 246 69 189 258 +66 120 28 12 18 30 +13 14

International[edit | edit source]

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2005 Sweden Jr. WJC U18 7 2 3 5 4
2006 Sweden Jr. WJC 6 4 3 7 2
2006 Sweden WC 4 0 0 0 0
2007 Sweden Jr. WJC 7 0 7 7 20
2007 Sweden WC 9 1 5 6 4
2008 Sweden WC 9 3 4 7 4
2010 Sweden Oly 4 1 5 6 0
Junior int'l totals 38 10 19 29 44
Senior int'l totals 41 8 17 25 12

Awards[edit | edit source]

Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. El-Bashir, Tariq, (June 12, 2008) "A.O. Snags Hart, Pearson; Boudreau Wins Adams", Washington Post, 30 April 2010
  2. "Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom signs $67 million contract". Associated Press. May 17, 2010.
  3. "'Gus' picks 13 Turin Champs ", 27 December 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2010
  4. http://www.nbcolympics.com/hockey/statistics/gender=m/fullPoints.html
  5. Bob McKenzie (2006). ”Top 30 Draft Prospects”. TSN.ca. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.
  6. Brian Hunter (2008-01-22). ”Caps win a shootout from the start”. NHL.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.

External links[edit | edit source]

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