Nicklas Backstrom was born November 23, 1987 in Gavle, Sweden. Washington's first round choice, fourth overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Backstrom honed his skills in his homeland competing in the Swedish Elite League.
After a final season in the SEL in which he led his team in points, Backstrom suited up for the Caps in all 82 of their regular season games. That season, Backstrom recorded 14 goals, 55 assists for 69 points, good for second best among rookie point producers. At the 2008 NHL Awards, Backstrom was named one of the three candidates for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, however the prize was captured by Chicago's Patrick Kane.
On the international stage, Backstrom has represented his homeland numerous times in both the World Junior Championships and the World Championships.