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The St. Louis Blues haved signed Minnesota State junior forward David Backes to a National Hockey League contract beginning for the 2006-07 season. Backes will join the Peoria Rivermen, the Blues’ affiliate in the American Hockey League, for the remainder of the season as an amateur tryout.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

Selected by St. Louis in the second round (62nd overall) in the 2003 draft, Backes missed one game in his three-year collegiate career and with 46-73–119 in 115 games, ranks 23rd on MSU’s all-time scoring list.

His career totals stand third in MSU scoring during the Division I era, with only Aaron Fox (1996-2000) and Shane Joseph (1999-2004) ranking ahead of him. He led the Mavericks in scoring the past two years (he tied for MSU’s 2005-06 scoring lead with 13 goals and 29 assists for 42 points).

His 42 points are a career-high and the Blaine, Minn., native also led the Mavericks with a career-high 29 assists and 150 shots on goal this year. He ranked second on the team with seven power play goals and was third in goals (13) and game-winning goals (2).

MSU’s captain this past year, Backes was named MSU’s 2004-05 MVP, was a member of the 2003-04 WCHA All-Rookie team and was a 2004-05 All-WCHA Third Team selection.