Prospect Profile: Mikael Backlund

March 1st, 2010 by Derrick Lightfoot Leave a reply »
There's always at least one player in every sports draft that will take a fall from where they were projected to get drafted—usually for a reason.

Seen in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, highly touted Russian defenseman Dmitry Kulikov fell into the Florida Panthers' lap at the 14th spot of the draft. Most experts agreed the drop was due to the always present possibility of the player feeling homesick and going back home to the new and improved Kontinental Hockey League.

With Mikael Backlund being ranked second among European skaters by some in the 2007 draft, there was no evident reason why he fell to the Flames at the 24th spot, but for a club notoriously bad at drafting it was good to see a highly ranked prospect enter the Flames family.

Backlund was born on March 17th, 1989 in Vasteras, Sweden. You can never go wrong when drafting a Swede; Sweden produces some of the best passers and best two-way players in the game and if Backlund reaches his potential, he will be among the best passers and two-way players in the game.

Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Redwings said it best—if you don't play defense in Sweden, you don't play.

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