Spotlight Series – Victor Bjorkung
This week the spotlight features the Chicago Steel’s No. 27, Victor Bjorkung. Bjorkung spent last season in the United States Hockey League splitting time between the Fargo Force and the Sioux Falls Stampede. He started the 2012-13 campaign in Fargo where he appeared in 26 games and recorded one goal and five assists. On December 31, 2012 Fargo traded Bjorkung to Sioux Falls. In 34 games played for the Stampede, Bjorkung netted five goals and 11 assists to go along with a plus-15 on ice rating.
Originally from Stockholm Sweden, Bjorkung made his way over to the United States after being drafted by Fargo in the 2012 USHL Entry Draft. Bjorkung says that the decision to come play hockey in the United States was determined before the draft, the pick just told him where he was going to play.
Some people may view moving from Sweden to the United States as quite difficult, but Bjorkung says that it has been a pretty smooth transition. The coaching staff and his teammates have been a huge help, and have made the transition much easier. Bjorkung thinks Chicago is a great fit for him and he loves playing for the Steel.
The biggest transition from Sweden to the United States, according to Bjorkung, has been the difference in the size of the rinks. Ice rinks in the United States are smaller compared to European rinks, which is just fine for Bjorkung. Bjorkung likes the faster pace of the hockey in the United States and tries to use his speed to his advantage. He describes himself as someone who likes to make the simple play in the defensive zone. It should also come as no surprise that the team leader in shots says the he loves to join the offensive rush and shoot the puck from anywhere.
Bjorkung names two Swedish defensemen as the NHL players he looks up to the most. The first is Niklas Kronwall, a native of Stockholm, whom Bjorkung knows personally and has been a big role model in his life. The other is Erik Karlsson. Bjorkung enjoys watching Karlsson, a young blueliner for the Ottawa Senators, because of the way he plays. Karlsson is known for his defensive prowess and also for his ability to contribute in a big way on offense.
Bjorkung joined the Steel during the preseason and has appeared in nine games so far this season. In his first two weeks in Chicago, Bjorkung transitioned from a newcomer to an alternate captain. The opportunity to have an “A” on his sweater is something that he calls a “big pleasure.” He was kind of shocked by the appointment, but treasures the fact that the coaches and players chose him to be a leader on and off the ice. He knows he had to do something special to earn the letter, he just is not totally sure what that was. Bjorkung humbly says that he was just being himself.
Away from the rink Bjorkung keeps things simple. He likes to rest and hang out with his fellow Steel teammates. He also Skypes his family back in Sweden and would like to say hello to his parents and especially his sister. He says that he owes his father for getting him started in hockey. Both his mom and dad have been his biggest hockey influences and supporters through this point of his career.
Finally, Bjorklung says that if any Steel supporters ever find themselves in Stockholm they should check out the wonderful downtown and the local scenery at the beach.