Yes, David Backes has the ability and grit to play on one of the team’s top two lines. He played the right side last season, which was his first in Boston.
In order for a coach to roll four lines consistently, depth down the middle is important. If the Bruins come out of training camp with David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Backes and Riley Nash as the centermen, that’s solid depth to begin the 2017-18 season.
When Backes signed as a free agent, he said he would play any position to help the team win, even though he’s more comfortable as a center.