Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Mikael Backlund of the Kelowna Rockets is the Boston Pizza CHL Player of the Week for the week ending April 19. Backlund had five points in two games including one goal and four assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.
Backlund and the Rockets opened the Kal Tire WHL Western Conference Championship Series with a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night. Backlund opened the scoring in the second period with a power play goal and set-up both the game-winner and insurance marker into the empty net to complete his three-point game as first star. In game two on Sunday, he was named second star of the game with two assists despite the 4-3 overtime loss to the Giants. The Rockets and Giants are now locked at 1-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Backlund, a 20-year-old from Vasteras, Sweden, has 13 points including six goals and seven assists in nine playoff games. Playing in his first WHL season, Backlund competed at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships and won a silver medal with Team Sweden before joining the Rockets on January 12. He was a first round selection, 24th overall by the Calgary Flames at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Ryan Ellis of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires scored two goals and five assists for seven points in three games. The defenceman scored two goals including the overtime winner plus an assist as first star leading the Spitfires to a game one 4-3 win over the London Knights on Wednesday night. Mike Hoffman scored three goals and two assists for five points leading the Drummondville Voltigeurs to two wins on the week. He scored two goals and one assist as first star in the 8-1 win over the Rimouski Oceanic in game one of their league semi-final series Friday night.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)