2005-06: The hockey world began to take notice of Mikael Backlund after he lead his youth hockey league (TV-Pucken) in goals and total points. He didn’t stop there as he scored the most points (31) by a player under 17 playing in the Swedish Superelite U-20 league. That same year, Flames fans caught a glimpse of Backlund’s skill, after he was named the Mac’s Tournament MVP.
2006-07: Backlund, still in the Vasteras system, competed with several of the clubs teams. In 18 games with the Allsvenskan club, he tallied a goal and three points, then suited up for six games with the Swedish National U18 team at the WJC-18; he netted six goals and seven points at the tournament.
2007-08: The center tallied nine goals and 13 points in 37 games with Vasteras (Allsvenskan) this season. He also joined up with Team Sweden’s U20 squad at the WJC, where he scored three goals and seven points in six games; Sweden took home the Silver Medal at the tournament.
2008-09: Backlund competed with several teams this season, starting off with his old standby, Vasteras (Allsvenskan). In 17 games in the Swedish league, he netted four goals and eight points, along with a career-high 39 penalty minutes. He then came overseas to skate with the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) for 28 games, where he tallied a career-high 12 goals and 30 points. He netted another 23 points (13g+10a) in 19 postseason games, claiming the WHL playoff scoring title as well as the league Championship. He also skated in his first NHL game with Calgary, but failed to tally any points. He also competed with the Swedish National U20 squad, where he netted five goals and seven points in six games, and won the Silver Medal for the second straight season. Expect to see him back in North America next season with Abbotsford (AHL).
The speedy center is a premier play maker. He has incredibly soft hands, especially in tight with the goal. He often makes passes that only an elite few can accomplish. His strong shot makes him a one-shot scoring threat every time he laces them up. His defensive play makes him a very complete player.