Detroit Red Wings DetroitRedWings.com presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow the Red Wings of YouTube! Follow DetroitRedWings on Periscope! Follow the Red Wings on Vine! Follow the Red Wings on Google +! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Follow the Red Wings on Pinterest! Follow the Red Wings on Tumblr! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Wings in Waiting: Mattias Backman

Wednesday, 07.30.2014 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Detroit Red Wings
X
Share with your Friends


Wings in Waiting: Mattias Backman
false

Red Wings prospect Mattias Backman won a gold medal with Sweden at the 2012 World Junior Championship. (Photo by Getty Images)
DETROIT – North America got a peak at another Swedish prospect last season, as defenseman Mattias Backman jumped across the pond to continue his successful development within the Red Wings’ organization.

Backman, Detroit’s fifth-round pick in the 2011 NHL draft, is a 6-foot-3, mobile defenseman that joined the Grand Rapids Griffins after his Swedish team, Linkoping, was eliminated from the 2014 Swedish Elite League playoffs.

Backman appeared in two regular-season games with the Griffins, and scored one goal in one playoff game with the defending Calder Cup champions.

Prior to joining the Griffins, Backman helped Linkoping reach the SEL semifinals, recording seven assists in 13 games.

The defenseman enjoyed a successful postseason campaign after struggling during the regular season, as Backman suffered injuries that stalled his development heading into the 2013-14 season.

“Last summer, he had some health issues and it stalled him a little bit,” said Jiri Fischer, Detroit’s director of player development. “He went into the season and physically, he didn't take the next step that he needed to really become the go-to guy in Linkoping. He was inconsistent, but thanks to wanting to get better, he has. His consistency is better and better and better.”

Backman earned six goals and 15 assists in 54 games with Linkoping during his third and final SEL campaign.

“Last year, he established himself as one of the top young defensemen playing outside of the NHL,” Fischer said. “In Linkoping, he played on the top pair and he had a fantastic season. He ended up being on the national team.”

In three years with Linkoping, Backman earned a total of nine goals and 46 assists, plus four goals and 17 assists during the playoffs.

In his first professional season in Sweden, Backman skated in 42 games for Linkoping, and also played for the gold-medal winning Swedish team at the 2012 World Junior Championship. The defenseman was the team’s second-leading scorer with two goals and six assists through six games.

“After we drafted him, the half a year he played so well,” Fischer said. “He just got better so much, thanks to his skating and puck moving and his hockey sense, and his ability to shadow players in the defensive zone and not get beat. He's very responsible.”

The defenseman signed a three-year entry-level contract with Detroit in May, 2013, and is expected to continue his future development in Grand Rapids in the upcoming AHL season.

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map