Not a bad article but a little underwhelming in respect to Backlund. I guess it remains to be seen how he performs in the Memorial Cup but to this point, he has been a difference maker.
He seems to be capable of elevating his game when everything is on the line. The frustrating part is that he can disappear at times (such as in Vasteras). Then he elevates his game (like in the WJC or in the Memorial Cup).
Is he going to be able to bring the intense game to the NHL night in and night out? If so, he could be a fabulous prospect. Someone who could foster consideration in the Calder deliberations.
Or will he fade into the background and emerge for the big games only? If so, he still would be a valuable NHLer, but not a top prospect.
The question remains, was his ordinary play in Vasteras a consequence of his shortcomings or a problem with the way he was being managed as a player?
His time in the CHL has been fairly impressive during the regular season and outstanding so far during the Memorial Cup. His arrival appears to have arguably transformed Kelowna to a genuine championship contender.
Time will tell which Backlund emerges in the NHL on a consistent basis. We could have an exceptional top line player or a very good top six player. That seems to be the biggest question that remains.
The article didn't identify that very well. It pretty well simply stated he will either make the Flames or play lots of minutes in the AHL. Now there is a big revelation.
Anyways pretty decent article. Should be interesting to see what happens next year with a lot of players fighting for spots. I loved what I saw from Van der Gulik in his time up with the flames. Chucko had a big year in the minors and needs to start showing signs that he can play in the big leagues. Hopefully he can have a good camp. I've been a huge fan of Sutter since he was drafted. He's probably going to have to play atleast one more year in the minors though. Greentree showed a nice scoring touch down in QC, but like the article says he needs to work on his skating. Could have a shot at a bottom six spot though.
Pelech is making the team next year. Backlund will be given every opportunity again to make the big club. Negrin probably starts in the minors, but if he has a really good camp he may be able to force his way onto the team.
If we can not sign any d men in the offseason, including Leopold and Aucoin, Pardy becomes a top 4 man on that team, and I think he can fill that role. But hopefully JayBO is on the way. Not young at 25 anymore, but very inexperienced. Lot of potential with the size and skill there, can still stand to be more physical.