There’s one thing you notice when watching Dallas Stars prospect Sean Backman play. He likes to shoot the puck. If there’s a shot to be taken, he’s going to take it.
“I’ve been like that for a long time and it’s brought me some success,” Backman said. “That’s the way I play.”
Backman, 24, signed with the Stars as a free agent in March after four years at Yale, where he ranks fourth all-time in goals (77 in 122 games). He missed the end of last season with a heel injury and received clearance to play just last month, so he did not skate at the Stars development camp in July.
The Stars have been getting a look at the right wing, who is listed at 5-9, 170 pounds, the past few days at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan.
“He was kind of what we thought he was going to be,” said Texas Stars GM Scott White. “He’s an undersized right winger, but he never misses a chance to take a shot. He can skate and he’s got a nose around the net. He’s really smart. He takes calculated risks offensively. He’s projected to play in Cedar Park and it’s up to him to see how far he can take it.”
Through the first three games of the tournament Backman has no points and he ranks second on the team with nine shots on goal.
“It’s a good learning experience and a good taste of the pro life,” Backman said after a practice in Traverse City. “You see where you stack up in the organization and you know what to expect out of the organization in terms of their style of play.”
Backman’s style is one that utilizes his speed, skill and shot. Those are elements he believes will help him overcome the lack of size as he makes the transition to the pro game.
“I just have to do what I do best, which is use my speed to my advantage and shoot the puck,” he said. “I think with the new rules it works to my advantage. If I can keep my feet moving I can draw penalties. There’s not a lot of clutching and grabbing in the game today, so I think it works out to my advantage.”
Stars to play for 5th place
Stars prospects will play their final game at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City on Wednesday. They’ll take on the New York Rangers for 5th place. Game time is 1:30 p.m. (CT). Detroit and Minnesota will play for the championship later in the day.