Flames send prospect Mikael Backlund to Western Hockey League

CALGARY – The next stop on Mikael Backlund’s whirlwind journey will be the Western Hockey League.

The Calgary Flames assigned the Swedish prospect to the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets on Sunday.

Backlund, selected 24th overall in 2007, is coming off a big week – he played in the gold medal game at the world junior championship and made his NHL debut.

The 19-year-old began the season playing for Vasteras in the Swedish League before joining his country’s world junior team. After winning a silver medal in Ottawa last Monday, he decided to remain in North America.

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Backlund figured he’d join the Rockets but was instead summoned to Calgary as an injury replacement for Todd Bertuzzi. He was held pointless during a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.