Backes with the St. Louis Blues in 2014.
May 1, 1984 |
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||221 lb (100 kg; 15 st 11 lb)|
|Position||Center / Right Wing|
|NHL team||St. Louis Blues|
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||62nd overall, 2003
St. Louis Blues
After two seasons of junior with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League, Backes was selected 62nd overall by the Blues in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Following his draft, he joined the Minnesota State Mavericks men's ice hockey team of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, spending three seasons in the college hockey ranks. Forgoing his senior year with the Mavericks, he turned professional with the Blues, joining their American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen. Midway through the 2006–07 season, Backes was called up to the NHL and secured a roster spot with the Blues. Following his fifth season with St. Louis, he was chosen as team captain.
Backes played three seasons of prep hockey with Spring Lake Park High School in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, graduating in 2002. As a senior, he was named All-Conference, All-Metro, All-State and was a finalist for the 2002 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award. He was joined on the Star Tribune's All-Metro First Team with future college teammate, Travis Morin of the Dallas Stars. His high school team included future Minnesota Wild forward, Jarod Palmer. His number 5 has been retired by the school and hangs at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota.
Junior and college
After spending parts of two years in junior hockey with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, Backes was selected in the second round, 62nd overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Prior to joining the Blues, he played three seasons of college hockey at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he was named to the 2005-06 Men’s RBK Division I West All-America Second Team and the 2005-06 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team. Immediately after his third and final college season, he was signed by the Blues and assigned to the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL for the final 12 games of the 2005–06 AHL season.
Following his first NHL training camp in September 2006, Backes was reassigned to the Rivermen, remaining in the AHL for the start of the 2006–07 season. Several months into the campaign, he was called up by the Blues and played his first NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 19, 2006. Forty-four seconds into the game, Backes registered his first NHL point, a second-assist on a Doug Weight goal, giving the Blues a 1–0 lead. St. Louis went on to win the game 4–1, while Backes recorded 10 minutes of ice time. The following game two days later, Backes scored his first NHL goal 10 minutes and 47 seconds into the first period versus the Los Angeles Kings. The goal came on a backhand shot past Kings goaltender Dan Cloutier, helping the Blues to a 5–2 win. A month into his initial stint with the Blues, he was reassigned to the Rivermen on January 21, 2007, for three days, after which he was recalled. Spending the remainder of the season with St. Louis, he completed his rookie season with 23 points (10 goals and 13 assists) in 49 games, while also recording 13 points (10 goals and 3 assists) in 31 games with Peoria. Among NHL rookies who had played at least half the season, Backes ranked 13th in points-per-game at .47.
In 2007–08, he completed his first full season in the NHL, improving to 31 points (13 goals and 18 assists). Becoming a restricted free agent in the off-season, Backes signed a three-year, US$7.5 million offer sheet with the Vancouver Canucks on July 1, 2008. The Blues quickly matched the offer, keeping Backes in St. Louis through the 2010–11 season. With a new contract, Backes tallied 54 points, including a career-high 31 goals, in 2008-09, finishing second behind winger Brad Boyes among Blues scorers. He added 165 penalty minutes while playing in all 82 games for the first time in his career. During the season, he scored a career-high four goals on April 2, 2009, in a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Backes' efforts helped the Blues reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Matching up against the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, the Blues were swept in four games. Backes recorded a goal and two assists in that span.
In 2009-10, Backes' offensive production decreased to 17 goals and 31 assists for 48 points in 79 games. Following the retirement of Keith Tkachuk in the off-season, Backes took on the role of the alternate captain for 2010–11, the last season of his contract. A month into the campaign, on November 12, 2010, Backes signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract extension, keeping him with St. Louis through the 2015-16 season. Leading the Blues in scoring midway through the season, he was named to his first NHL All-Star Game in 2011. As the NHL adopted a draft to determine the teams for the first year, Backes was selected by Team Staal 33rd overall among 36 players. He recorded three assists in a losing effort, as Team Lidstrom won 11–10. Backes completed the season matching his personal best total of 31 goals, while adding 31 assists for a career-high and team-leading 62 points over 82 games. With a +32 rating, Backes came within one point of leading the league in plus-minus, behind Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.
Late in the 2010–11 season, Blues captain Eric Brewer had been traded away to the Tampa Bay Lightning, leaving the leadership position vacant for the remainder of the campaign. During the off-season, on September 9, 2011, Backes was chosen to succeed Brewer, becoming the 20th captain in team history. He scored 24 goals to go with 30 assists in 82 games played during the 2011–12 NHL season.
David Backes during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for the United States|
Following his rookie NHL season, Backes was named to the United States' national team for the 2007 IIHF World Championship. He played in 7 games, contributing a goal, 2 assists and 6 penalty minutes, as the U.S. finished in 5th place. He again suited up for Team USA at the 2008 IIHF World Championship, contributing an assist and 35 penalty minutes over 6 games as the U.S. finished 6th. Competing for a third consecutive year at the World Championships in 2009, Backes registering a goal and 4 assists in 9 games. The U.S. placed 4th, losing to Sweden 4-2 in the bronze medal game.
On January 1, 2010, Backes was named to the United States' roster for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He recorded a goal and two assists over six games, helping the United States to the gold medal game. They were defeated 3-2 by Canada in overtime, earning silver.
On January 1, 2014, Backes was named to the United States's roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics along with St. Louis teammates Kevin Shattenkirk and T. J. Oshie. Although the U.S. team did not win a medal, the forward played in six games, scored three goals, had one assist, and four points - while accumulating six penalty - minutes in Sochi.
Off the ice
Backes got his private pilot license in 2012. He has flown many planes. He is currently pursuing an applied organizational studies degree with a nonprofit leadership emphasis from Minnesota State and was formerly studying to become an electrical engineer.
He is a passionate advocate for animal welfare. Together with his wife, Kelly, he is highly active in animal rescue efforts and pet adoption drives. In November 2013 they founded Athletes for Animals, "a united team of professional athletes with a shared passion for rescuing and protecting the welfare of homeless pets nationwide."
Regular season and playoffs
|1999–00||Spring Lake Park||MN-HS||24||17||20||37||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Spring Lake Park||MN-HS||24||29||46||75||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Spring Lake Park||MN-HS||25||31||36||67||—||2||1||1||2||—|
|2006–07||St. Louis Blues||NHL||49||10||13||23||37||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||St. Louis Blues||NHL||72||13||18||31||99||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||St. Louis Blues||NHL||82||31||23||54||165||4||1||2||3||10|
|2009–10||St. Louis Blues||NHL||79||17||31||48||106||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||St. Louis Blues||NHL||82||31||31||62||93||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||St. Louis Blues||NHL||82||24||30||54||101||9||2||2||4||18|
|2012–13||St. Louis Blues||NHL||48||6||22||28||62||6||1||2||3||0|
|2013–14||St. Louis Blues||NHL||74||27||30||57||119||4||0||1||1||2|
Awards and honors
|All-WCHA Rookie Team||2003–04|
|All-WCHA Third Team||2004–05|
|All-WCHA Second Team||2005–06|
|AHCA West Second-Team All-American||2005–06|
- 2001-02 Finalist, Minnesota Mr. Hockey
- 2002-03 All-USHL First Team
- 2004-05 WCHA All-Academic Team
- 2005-06 WCHA All-Academic Team
- 2005-06 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team
- 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist
- 2010-11 NHL All-Star Game (Jan. 30, 2011)
- 2011-12 Frank J. Selke Trophy Finalist
- "NHLs David Backes to have his number retired". 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2010-12-29.[dead link]
- "David Backes named hockey academic all-american". 2006-06-14. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "Blues 4 - Penguins 1". St. Louis Blues. 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
- "Blues 5, Kings 2". St. Louis Blues. Associated Press. 2006-12-21. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
- "2006-2007 - Regular Season - Skater - Points - Average Points Per Game". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
- "Backes Remains a Blue". St. Louis Blues. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-07-02.[dead link]
- "2008-09 St. Louis Blues [NHL]". Hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "Backes scores 4 goals, Blues beat Red Wings". 2009-04-03. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "David Backes signs 5-year extension". 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "Backes Named to 2011 All-Star Game: Forward leads the Blues in scoring with 12 goals and 21 assists (33 points)". NHL.com. January 11, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- "Backes named Blues captain, Langenbrunner among assistants". The Sports Network. 2011-09-09. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
- "St. Louis Blues: Blues Will Be Very Well Represented in the Winter Olympics". Bleacher Report. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David Backes.|
- David Backes's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- David Backes's player profile at NHL.com
|St. Louis Blues captain