CALGARY - Through the eyes of personal skills development coach Darryl Belfry, the tale of tape was that Mikael Backlund had the tools necessary to take his game to the next level.
Before Belfry even had his first face-to-face meeting with Backlund last summer, he asked the Calgary Flames centre to provide footage for a video analysis.
"I think the biggest thing that stuck out is that he has a tremendous amount of skill but wasn't sure, wasn't clear, on how to convert that skill into making plays," Belfry recalled. "I'm not sure that he really knew and, still, I'm not sure that he really knows how good of a player he could actually be."
Belfry is hoping to help him get there.
Based in St. Catharines, Ont., the independent skills coach is best known for his work with Chicago Blackhawks sharpshooter Patrick Kane, but that's not the only big name on his client list.