ARLINGTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals will hold a pre-game ceremony on January 15 against Philadelphia to honor Nicklas Backstrom for becoming the first player in franchise history to record 500 assists. During the ceremony, Backstrom will receive a special gift from the organization.
Backstrom became the first player in Capitals franchise history to record 500 career assists on Jan. 7 against the Ottawa Senators, earning an assist on T.J. Oshie's first period goal at Canadian Tire Centre. Backstrom has registered 680 points (176 goals, 504 assists) in 693 career NHL games and ranks first in franchise history in assists, fourth in points and tied for 10th in games played.
Video: WSH@OTT: Oshie pots Backstrom's 500th career assist
Backstrom was drafted by Washington in the first round, fourth overall, in the 2006 NHL Draft. He is the first player from the 2006 Draft class to reach the 500-assist plateau and also ranks first among players drafted in 2006 in points. The Gavle, Sweden, native is the 10th Swedish-born player in NHL history to reach 500 assists, joining Nicklas Lidstrom (878), Mats Sundin (785), Henrik Sedin (766), Daniel Alfredsson (713), Borje Salming (637), Peter Forsberg (636), Daniel Sedin (600), Thomas Steen (553) and Henrik Zetterberg (549). Backstrom is the second-fastest Swedish-born player in NHL history to reach the 500-assist plateau (691 GP), trailing Forsberg (551 GP) and the third-fastest player to reach 500 assists among active NHL players, trailing Sidney Crosby (554 GP) and Jaromir Jagr (642 GP). He also ranks second among active players (min. 600 GP) in assists per game (.727).
Since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, Backstrom ranks third in the NHL in assists, trailing Joe Thornton (539) and Henrik Sedin (536), and ranks seventh in points. He also leads the NHL in power-play assists (233) since 2007-08 and ranks second in power-play points (286), trailing Alex Ovechkin (301). In addition, he ranks fourth in multi-assist games since he entered the League (116) and first in three-assist games (33) and four-assist games (9).
Backstrom tallied the third-most assists in a season in Capitals history in 2009-10 (68) and has recorded four of the nine 60-assist seasons in franchise history (2008-09, 2009-10, 2013-14, 2014-15). In addition, he ranks first in Capitals history in 40-assist seasons (8) and 50-assist seasons (6). He also ranks tied for first in the NHL in 40-assist and 50-assist seasons since he entered the League in 2007-08.