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Backstrom the First Player in Franchise History to Reach 700 Assists

Backstrom recorded an assist against the Boston Bruins to reach the mark

by Washington Capitals @Capitals / WashingtonCaps.com

Capitals alternate captain Nicklas Backstrom became the first player in franchise history and the 54th player in NHL history to reach the 700-assist milestone on Friday night against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

Backstrom became the second fastest active player (Sidney Crosby, PIT: 856 games) and the 23rd fastest player in NHL history to reach the 700-assist mark in his 979th career game. In addition, Backstrom became the 25th player in NHL history to reach the milestone before his 1,000th NHL game. Of the 24 players to accomplish this feat, 23 are in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Backstrom has assisted on goals scored by 56 different players in his career. His current teammates Alex Ovechkin (266 assists), T.J. Oshie (66 assists) and John Carlson (43 assists) are at the top of the list. 

Video: Nicklas Backstrom's 700th Assist on Vrana's Goal

Backstrom's 700 assists since his rookie season in 2007-08 lead the NHL. His 0.72 assists per game rate is the second-most among active NHL players and tied for the 13th-highest rate in NHL history among players with 700 assists. Backstrom is the fifth Swedish-born player in NHL history to reach the 700-assist mark, joining Nicklas Lidstrom (878), Henrik Sedin (830), Mats Sundin (785) and Daniel Alfredsson (713). 

Backstrom's 700 assists rank first in franchise history. Backstrom tied Michal Pivonka for first place on the franchise assist list on March 15, 2015, recording 418 assists in 263 fewer games than Pivonka and passed him on March 19, 2015. Backstrom has registered five of the 11 60-assist seasons in franchise history and is one of 26 players in NHL history to record 700 assists with one franchise. 

Video: Congratulations to Nicklas Backstrom on 700 Assists

Backstrom is one of three players in the NHL to record at least 20 goals and 50 assists in four of the last five seasons (Patrick Kane, CHI; Connor McDavid, EDM). Backstrom is one of 42 players in NHL history to record six career seasons with at least 20 goals and 50 assists. 

Backstrom's 953 points (253g, 700a) rank second in franchise history, behind only Ovechkin (1,295). He ranks first among the 2006 NHL Draft class in points (953) and assists (700), despite ranking fourth in games played (979).

Backstrom leads the Capitals with 26 points (10g, 16a) in 23 games this season, which is tied for the seventh-most points in the NHL. Backstrom has recorded a point in 17 of the Capitals' 23 games. Over an 82-game season, Backstrom is on a 57-assist pace this season, his best rate since 2016-17 (63a).

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