Saturday, August 29, 2015

Logical Expectations: #11 - Mikael Backlund

Credit: Mark DesRosiers - USA Today Sports
Logical Expectations is a feature that will run throughout the summer detailing what we, as Flames fans, should expect from the players that play for our beloved team. 

Today, we focus on forward Mikael Backlund. 

Mikael Backlund is quickly developing into quite a player. His fantastic possession stats, offensive ability, and great defensive play have combined together to form a great second-line talent on the Flames. The 2007 1st-round pick has turned many heads as of late, and don't expect that to change in 2015-16.

What Do We Want From Him?

Backlund will score at least 15 goals this year, provided that he stays healthy. Now, that isn't a given - Backlund has missed 52 games over the past 3 seasons - but when he is in the lineup, Backlund is a force to be reckoned with.

Also, look at that hair. Try to avert your gaze. Just try.
He's a possession monster on a terrible possession team. Now, imagine him being paired with Michael Frolik, another fantastic possession player. Oh, you won't have to imagine it anymore - come next year, they'll likely share second line duties. 

With this abundance of skill and possession on the second line next season, combined with him entering his prime (he's still just 26), expect Backlund's output to jump. Big time. He'll never live up to his draft choice (24th-overall in 2007), but he's got a fantastic contract, and is still a remarkably valuable player in the right situation. 

It's always a party when Backlund's around.
Projected stat-line: 71 GP, 18 G, 25 A, 43 PTS.

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