Hard to believe that this was only Backstrom's third season in the NHL. He's already playing like a seasoned veteran.
When Nicklas Backstrom was drafted fourth overall back in 2006 he was brought in for this very reason: to be Alex Ovechkin's playmaker, a role that he's filled to perfection. Even though the Capitals are still Ovechkin's team, I wonder how he would fare without a centerman like Nicklas Backstrom feeding him the puck.
In only his third season, Backstrom had a career season scoring 33 goals, 68 assists, and 101 points, putting him in elite company for playmaking centers with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Joe Thornton, Henrik Sedin and Evgeni Malkin.
Even though Backstrom is primarily a playmaker, he showed this season that he can also go and score himself with his career high 33 goals. He is also an excellent defensive player and is very responsible in his own end, but Bruce Boudreau—and you can't blame him—refrains from using him on the penalty as much as possible.
People may think that Backstrom's stats are overinflated because he has Ovechkin on his wing, but I think differently. I think that Ovechkin's stats are overinflated because he has Backstrom as a center. Without Backstrom, Ovie would not have that center presence that he needs to get him the puck so he can take off.
Regardless though these two are a dynamic force and prove impossible to shut down at times.