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MINNESOTA WILD VS COLORADO AVALANCHE
Minnesota Wild backup goalie Niklas Backstrom of Finland watches Avalanche warmup at the Pepsi Center in Denver on March 31, 2007. Backstrom did not play in the Wild's 2-1 loss to the Avalanche. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey)
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Niklas Oskar Bäckström (born February 13, 1978) is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has won both William M. Jennings Trophy and Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award. He also has won both Urpo Ylönen trophy and Jari Kurri trophy twice. Bäckström is a Swedish-speaking Finn.

Niklas Bäckström won the 1998 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships as a backup goaltender for the Finnish national team, along with players like Olli Jokinen, Niklas Hagman, Mika Noronen, Niko Kapanen, Toni Dahlman and Eero Somervuori. Bäckström was the third goaltender for Team Finland in the 2006 Winter Olympics, but did not play any games. In the Finnish SM-liiga he played for HIFK, SaiPa and Kärpät. Bäckström led Kärpät to two consecutive league titles in 2004 and 2005. Bäckström signed a one-year contract with the Wild on June 1, 2006.

At the beginning of the 2006–2007 season, Bäckström was the backup for the Wild's starting goaltender, Manny Fernandez. Fernandez suffered a knee injury mid-season and Bäckström was forced into the starting position. Bäckström played exceptionally over the second half of the season, finishing first in the league in both goals against average (GAA) and save percentage, while tying Dwayne Roloson's team record with five shutouts in just 36 starts.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Niklas Backstrom."
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