Flames 2007 Draft Rewind
This time the Flames found a European prospect in the mix to be their best choice. Swedish gem Mikael Backlund was their first round pick and so far has proved to be a solid one indeed. Backlund stepped up from the AHL Abbotsford Heat last season with the Flames for 23 games and filled the void quite nicely that they needed him to fill.
Part three of our five part series looking at the Flames at the NHL Draft from 2005 to 2009, takes a look at what the class of 2007 has been up to since their draft day.
MIKAEL BACKLUND – F (Video: )
Drafted in 2007, 24th overall
|Mikael Backlund, Calgary's first round selection in 2007, appeared in 23 games for the Flames in the 2009-10 season.
The 21-year old has been busy since he was drafted in the first round (24th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Backlund made the jump from his native home in Vasteras Sweden to the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL after playing for Team Sweden at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Ottawa. He made a one game pit stop in Calgary with the Flames before heading to Kelowna.
It was during the WHL playoffs that Backlund found new life in his game. He tallied 23 points in the 19 playoff games to help lift his team to the WHL Championship title. The Rockets flew to Quebec for the Memorial Cup Championships and a berth in the final but lost to the Windsor Spitfires.
After attending his second development camp with the Flames last July, Backlund was assigned to the Abbotsford Heat (AHL) for the 2009-10 season.
He was recalled on January 26, 2010 and played in nine games during the call-up. He scored his first NHL goal on January 28th in Phoenix. Backlund was called to duty with the Flames again in early March and was kept up for 14 games before being reassigned to join the Abbotsford Heat for the opening round of the AHL playoffs.
Backlund closed out the season with 15 goals and 32 points in 54 regular season games played with the Heat. He added nine points in 13 playoff games as the Heat ended their Calder Cup run in game 6 of the North Division Finals.
JOHN NEGRIN – D (Video: )
Drafted in 2007, 70th overall
Negrin, a 6’3”, 200-pound rearguard was selected in the third round at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (70th overall).
Upon the conclusion of his junior season, Negrin was assigned to the Quad City Flames however he was recalled by Calgary on an emergency basis on April 3, 2009 and made his NHL debut that night against the Minnesota Wild.
Last season Negrin played 45 games with the relocated Flames AHL farm club in Abbotsford, BC. The defender netted five goals and finished with 15 points on the season.
Negrin is described as a skilled defenseman with good mobility, who likes to pattern his game after Scott Niedermayer.
"He's very poised with the puck, makes smart decisions and is a great skater," said Negrin. "He's always been one of my favourite players and I try to take tips from his game because he's one of the greatest defenseman in the NHL."
MICKEY RENAUD– C
Drafted in 2007, 143rd overall
Renaud was selected by the Calgary Flames in the fifth round (143rd overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
The 19-year old continued the following season with the Spitfires until February 18, 2008 when he collapsed suddenly at his home in nearby Techumseh. Renaud passed away that afternoon from a rare heart condition.
He had played in 56 games with the Spitfires that season and wore the “C” proudly for his team. He was on his way to having a great season, already with 41 points in the bank. The Windsor Spitfires retired his number # 18 the following day, with a banner raising held on September 25, 2008.
"Mickey was a good player with a good chance to play as a pro," Windsor Spitfires President and Head Coach Bob Boughner said. "What made him special was all the stuff off the ice. He was the best teammate the players here could have. He was a quality person. There's no video we could make that could really show that."
On February 4, 2009, the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy was announced and will be awarded to one team captain every year who best exemplifies the character and commitment that Mickey Renaud displayed during his career
Renaud was the son of former NHL ice hockey defenseman Mark Renaud, who played for the Hartford Whalers and Buffalo Sabres from 1979-1985.
Author: Kristi Hennessy