Mikael Backlund: Centre
82 GP, 14 G, 31 A, 45 Pts, 78 PIM, 4.2 CFRel%
MarkParkinson14: (B) For the 3rd straight season Mikael Backlund has taken another stride towards being one of the league’s elite two way defenders. His points were down (by 8) from last season, but 2017-18 was his second straight season with 30+ assists. He’s the brains behind the Flames 3M Line and it looks like he and Matthew Tkachuk are the two who are driving the line. There were times this season where it looked like Backlund was disappearing, but he always turned it around when he was needed.
MilhouseFirehouse: (B) Backlund’s points tally dropped off, but that’s gonna be par for the course as he two-way/defensive game develops, and that’s the most important part of his game at the moment. He’s solidified as a consistent contributor whether it’s on the scoresheet or not.
MGMacGillivray: (B+) His point totals may have dropped off this year which has had some folks giving him grief, but he was still a fantastic two-way centre. It is worth mentioning that he had a shooting percentage of 6.5% compared to an average of 10.72% the last five seasons. Had he shot at his average, he would’ve finished at 23 goals this season. He continues to improve and it won’t be long until we’re talking about how his new contract is also a steal.4
Our Final Grade: B
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