2001-02 Lincoln Stars #2: David Backes
Today, 15-year NHL veteran David Backes signed a one-day contract with the St. Louis Blues so that he could retire as a member of the team he spent most of his career with. The Blues picked Backes in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in the second round, 62nd overall. Five years later, Backes made his NHL debut, played 10 seasons with the Blues, and then another five seasons split between the Boston Bruins and the Anaheim Ducks.
But 20 years ago, a fresh-faced, 18-year old Backes was playing Junior A hockey with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL and was included in the team’s 2001-02 trading card set. Of course, back then Backes was a little shorter and a lot lighter
At 6-foot-2, Backes was just an inch shorter than when he played in the NHL. But at age 18, he was still a bit scrawny at 190 lbs. Backes since bulked up to a more-intimidating 215 lbs. as an NHL player. Also interesting to note is that Backes played both right wing and center in Junior A, but later became exclusively a winger.
In his 15-year NHL career, Backes played 965 games, scoring 248 goals and 313 assists. He was the Blues’ captain for five seasons and won a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Olympics.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■