With an average age of 29.35, the Calgary Flames were the NHL's second-oldest team last season. So it's hardly surprising the team would be focusing on one of their young prospects as a potential contributor for the 2010-11 season.
For a Flames team looking to improve on a season in which they barely missed the playoffs, the hope is Mikael Backlund can add a little extra this season.
On a team packed with veterans, Backlund was the only player among Calgary's top 22 scorers last season younger than 27. With 25 points in 73 games, that distinction has given the Flames hope that the 24th pick of 2007 Entry Draft can step up in his second full season in Calgary.
"Looking at one guy in particular that can help, a young player, it's got to be Mikael Backlund. I think he's ready to take on a bigger role," said Flames veteran forward Brendan Morrison. "He's very responsible defensively, but I think he has the potential to put up some bigger numbers and be an offensive guy for our team. I think he's ready for a breakout year."