Amid the excitement of the Washington Capitals come from behind victory against the Lightning last night, Capitals forward and assistant captain Nicklas Backstrom earned his 600th NHL point for his pass assist to TJ Oshie in the third period. His points include 155 goals and 445 assists.
With 600 points, Backstrom passes former franchise leader Michal Pivonka for fourth place on the Capitals franchise points list. Backstrom is fourth in points behind Alexander Ovechkin (920 points), Peter Bondra and Mike Gartner. A Swedish national, who was drafted by the Capitals fourth overall in the 2006 NHL draft is the first among his draft class to achieve this career milestone.
He delayed his entry into the NHL until 2007 when he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals. He is renowned for his hockey acumen and reputation for always knowing exactly what is happening on the ice. He scored his first NHL goal in October 2007 and was quickly promoted to the top line where he earned 69 points in his rookie season (14 goals and 55 assists). He was also instrumental in helping Ovi win the Art Ross Trophy and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Backstrom’s on ice prowess was rewarded when he was named runner-up to win the Calder Memorial Trophy.
Backstrom’s long list of NHL accolades begins with his rookie season and only grows with time and yet an appointment to the annual all-star tournament continues to elude the young super star. He scored his first regular season hat trick against the Tampa Bay Lightning in December 2014 and helped to lead the Capitals franchise to a semi-successful playoff run ending with a Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers.
In the 2015 post-season, Backstrom had successful arthroscopic hip surgery causing him to miss the 2016 pre-season and three regular season games. Since then, Backstrom appears to have made a full recovery and has tallied 16 points in his last 15 games and has earned a point in nine of his last 11 games. He ranks tied for second among Capitals skaters in points (28) and third in goals (10), assists (17) and plus/minus (+10). In addition, Backstrom ranks tied for sixth in the NHL in power play assists (10) and tied for 12th in points per game (1.00).
By Stephanie Judge