November 23, 1987 |
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)|
HC Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
|NHL Draft||4th overall, 2006
After turning 15, Bäckström began his junior career in the 2002-03 season, playing for Brynäs IF of the J20 SuperElit league.  After playing parts of three seasons there, in the final of which he had 34 points in 29 games (17 goals, 17 assists), he was called up to play for the club's team in the Elitserien, Sweden's top professional hockey league. In part due to the increased competition brought about by the influx of NHL players into the league (as a result of the 2004–05 NHL lockout), Bäckström was unable to record a point.
In his second season (2005-06) his numbers were greatly improved, recording 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 46 games, including a goal in four playoff games. Quickly becoming a first-line center and top player with his team, he was named both the Elitserien Rookie of the Year, as well as the Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year for the first of two times (other notable players to win the latter include Peter Forsberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Niklas Kronwall).
Following his successful campaign, he was drafted fourth overall by the Washington Capitals in 2006, but announced on July 10, 2006 he would wait a year before leaving Sweden to play in the NHL on. This made him the fourth-highest drafted Swede, after Mats Sundin (first), Daniel Sedin (second) and Henrik Sedin (third). (Although Victor Hedman was later picked second in 2009, and Gabriel Landeskog and Adam Larsson were the second and fourth picks, respectively, in 2011.)
In his third and last season with Brynäs IF, Bäckström’s development had continued, and he saw improvements in points (12 goals, 28 assists) despite playing in one less game than the previous season. He also improved in post-season play, and was able to record six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in seven games.
On May 21, 2007, Bäckström signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals, to begin playing during the 2007–08 NHL season. His development and impressive play led some, such as HockeysFuture.com who ranks NHL prospects, to consider him the most talented Swedish prospect in recent history. Drawing comparisons to Peter Forsberg, he was noted primarily for his vision, passing, and ability to maintain possession of the puck in traffic. For these reasons he was expected to be a catalyst on the power play, and his defensive prowess and puck movement would make him an equally valuable asset when short-handed.
While Bäckström was decent early in his first season, still adjusting to the smaller ice rinks of North America, his season rapidly improved once an injury to Nylander promoted him to the first line. Playing alongside Alexander Ovechkin, Bäckström set NHL and team records while helping Ovechkin win the Art Ross Trophy and the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy. These two would soon establish themselves among the premier linemates and duos in the league, with the formidability of a top flight scorer and playmaker proving to be hard to defend against.
With better talent surrounding him, Bäckström would go on to finish his rookie campaign with 69 points (14 goals, 55 assists), with 3 goals and 22 assists on the power play. He was named the runner-up to Chicago's Patrick Kane for the 2007-08 Calder Trophy (Kane had 1,087 votes to Bäckström's 872). The Blackhawks' other superstar rookie Jonathan Toews placed third in votes with 647. However, Bäckström was named to the All-Rookie Team along with Kane and Toews.
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 2009–10 NHL season, Bäckström finished 4th in League scoring with 101 points, behind Henrik Sedin (112), Sidney Crosby (109) and 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, a round that they lost in seven games.
On May 17, 2010, Bäckström signed a ten-year, $67 million contract extension with the Washington Capitals.
At the conclusion of the 2010–11 NHL season, Bäckström scored 65 points, which is the least for him for a single season.
During the 2012–13 NHL lockout, he played for HC Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). On October 18, 2012, Bäckström signed with the KHL's Dynamo Moscow, with whom Capitals linemate Alex Ovechkin had signed, for the duration of the 2012–13 NHL lockout.
Bäckström finished 3rd in the NHL with 40 assists during the 2012–13 NHL season.
|Competitor for Sweden|
|Men's ice hockey|
|World U18 Championships|
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 idols Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzén.
Bäckström led Team Sweden in the 2010 Olympics with six points in four games before they were eliminated by Slovakia in the quarterfinals.
Bäckström played for Sweden in:
- 2006 World Junior Championships
- 2006 World Championships (gold medal)
- 2007 World Junior Championships
- 2007 World Championships
- 2008 World Championships
- 2010 Winter Olympics
- 2012 World Championships
Regular season and playoffs
|2005||Sweden Jr.||WJC U18||7||2||3||5||4|
|Junior int'l totals||38||10||19||29||44|
|Senior int'l totals||41||8||17||25||126|
- Junior Hockey Player of the Year (2006)
- Elitserien Rookie of the Year (2006)
- NHL Rookie of the Month: December 2007
- NHL No. 1 Star of the Week: weeks ending November 16, 2008; and December 7, 2009.
- NHL All-Rookie Team (2007–08)
- Finalist, 2007–08 Calder Memorial Trophy
- Viking Award (2009)
- Youngest Swedish player ever in World Championship (18 years and 6 months).
- First NHL rookie to record four assists in two consecutive games.
- Most assists in a season by a rookie, Washington Capitals team record (56 assists), 2007–08 NHL season.
Bäckström's father Anders is a Swedish hockey player who played his career for Brynäs IF, totaling ten seasons for the club. Nicklas' mother Catrin Bäckström (born in Finland) played handball in the Swedish and Finnish Elite League in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Nicklas' older brother Kristoffer is a retired professional hockey player, who played the second tier of the Swedish league system with Hammarby IF, and in a German league.
The family has now started a business together in Finland.
- "Nicklas Backstrom Biography" 
-  “Nicklas Bäckström” Elite Prospects, Retrieved May 11, 2013
-  "Nicklas Backstrom", Retrieved May 11, 2013
- El-Bashir, Tariq, (June 12, 2008) "A.O. Snags Hart, Pearson; Boudreau Wins Adams", Washington Post, April 30, 2010.
- "Washington Capitals' Nicklas Bäckström signs $67 million contract". Associated Press. May 17, 2010.
- "'Gus' picks 13 Turin Champs ", December 27, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2010
- Bob McKenzie (2006). "”Top 30 Draft Prospects”". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
- Brian Hunter (2008-01-22). "”Caps win a shootout from the start”". NHL.com. Retrieved 2008-01-22.[dead link]
- Official website
- Nicklas Bäckström's career statistics at EliteProspects.com
- Nicklas Bäckström's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Nicklas Bäckström – player profile and career stats at European Hockey.Net
|Washington Capitals first round draft pick