Every year is seems like Backlund has grown more solid rock hands. However is two way game has improved, as well as his ability to stay tough on the puck. This tells me how much Sutter has influenced his game. With the right coach and wingers, I can see Backlund grow into a Conroy type player.
The potential is definitely there, he just needs to find a groove, stay healthy, and explode. His hands and shot improved tremendously last season imo, I think/hope Baertschi is going to bring the best out of Backlund
I think when he undressed the Canucks and scored that beauty goal, we expected that from him consistantly. Fans hoped for that type of prospect. But the comparable to Conroy is exactly what we can hop he becomes. Sven can be his iggy
He was absolutely overhyped. He never demonstrated that he had a good chance of playing first line in the NHL but he was the first sexy pick the Flames had in a long time so that fact was conveniently overlooked by most fans.
Well, if we ignore the HFBoards rating of 8.5C that he got.
Well he made it to the NHL after all and he'll likely have a full career. If he can win faceoffs and park himself in front of the net more, there's no reason why he can't help the team win games. His positive corsi numbers reflect a better game than his numbers suggest.
Backlund will be fine. The kid ran into some injuries last year, one of which was to a hand. It's hard coming back from a hand injury, especially early on in the season when you don't get a chance to keep up with the other players as their performance levels increase out of camp and through Christmas. Backlund's broken finger really set him back and hurt his ability to pass and shoot the puck. We'll see what he does this season, with a fully healed hand, before calling him a bust or a disappointment.
B.Sutter played Backs in primarily defensive situations to cultivate his two-way game and on that front, it worked very well. Backs has been one of our best defensive centres despite being a poor faceoff winner.
In the few opportunities he had on the powerplay and with the top 6 lines, I felt that he showed promise but it wasn't consistent because, especially in 5 on 5 situations, he would retreat back too quickly to be in a proper defensive position. As a result, he kept taking himself out of a scoring position. I think playing in Hartley's more offensive system will really help him breakout.
I'm hoping that come training camp, he will be playing with Baertschi and the two of them can re-ignite the chemistry they showed in last year's camp and pre-season. I think playing with a defensively sound playmaking centre like Backlund help Sven just as much as Sven's skill and forecheck ability will help Backs.
I don't think he was overhyped or underhyped. I think he's a solid young player who still has room for improvement and people are disappointed simply because he isn't the top line centre that they envisioned.
I really hope he breaks out and shows some offensive upside. Honestly though, I think he is done after this year and will go to Europe or somewhere else. He does have some skill, but unless he can prove he belongs in the top 6 he really doesn't have much use in the NHL. He is too small for the bottom 6, and unless he can put up at least modest goal totals he won't generate much interest next offseason.
Young 23 year old player has a disappointing injury riddled sophomore season playing on the 3rd line in a defensive system. HE SUCKS, NO FUTURE.
I really think Backlund will step up this year, playing 70+ games and getting about 40 points. He's dedicated, has heart, passion, and he loves Calgary. I don't know why everyone is so eager to trade him or consider him a bust.