DALLAS -- The Calgary Flames need to find somebody to score goals — anybody — during their losing skid has prompted a summons for the team's top prospect.
Mikael Backlund, the club's 2007 first-round draft choice, was called up from AHL Abbotsford and joined the team in Dallas for Wednesday’s game against the Stars.
Can Backlund live up to some fans' expectations that he can play saviour and pull the club out of its recent funk? Not so fast, says the Heat's third-leading scorer.
"I don't want to put it like that," said the 20-year-old Swede. "I'm happy I got called up and want to help win some games, but I'm don't expect myself to be the hero.
"I want to be, but I don't want to put pressure on myself."
Calgary has lost seven straight games, the last six in regulation time, and fallen to ninth in the Western Conference standings.
Backlund, who was driven to the airport in B.C. by a friend visiting from Sweden, arrived in Big D late last night in anticipation of his first NHL game this season.
"I was so excited, calling home to tell everyone," Backlund said of getting his first shot on the parent Flames' roster this campaign. "And when I got to the airport, I was trying to calm down. I'm calm now."
Backlund, a 6-foot, 200-lb. centre, made his NHL debut last season on his way to reporting to WHL Kelowna following the world junior tournament.
In his first full pro season in North America, Backlund has recorded 10 goals and 22 points through 47 games for the Heat.
Five of his tallies have come on the powerplay and two have held up as game winners.
"I feel like I can do a lot more," said Backlund. "I'm playing my first full season in Canada and it's different with the (number of) games. But since Christmas, I've been feeling better about my game and a lot more confident."