Anders Brucker and Hampus Samuelsson didn’t know each other before entering the season. What they did know is that they shared a commonality: Sweden.
Colorado native Anders Brucker decided he wanted more than just the hockey scene in Aspen and started seeking out options to play in Sweden.
He was later invited to a showcase in Boston to play on an all-European team where he was discovered by Swedish junior team Visby Roma. He eventually went off to goaltend for the Visby Roma J20 team for the 2016-2017 season.
Hampus Sameulsson on the other hand, grew up in Sweden. After playing one season as an exchange student for the Bay State Breakers U18 team three years ago, he decided it was time to return to the U.S. hockey scene.
The two players have both had to adapt to a European style of hockey to now an American one. They shared their thoughts on the differences between the two.
“It’s such a different style of hockey that it’s hard to compare. Different players have different attributes. Over there it’s definitely more of a technical game where there’s a lot more passing, you’re playing on bigger ice. Versus over here it’s a lot more physical. You don’t have as much time and players are more willing to grind out stuff,” Bruckers said.
Samuelsson shared a similar view, “I would say it’s more tactical hockey in Sweden. Kids are more like me, I’m not that big. The rink is also bigger in Sweden so you get more time with the puck. We put a lot of time into things like power play.”
Playing in a different country is not the only change Samuelsson has had to adapt to. The 19-year-old has also recently transitioned from being a life-long forward, to a defensemen.
The two players connected through Facebook before the start of the season when they found out they would be roommates. Samuelsson was excited knowing he would have Brucker with him, who reminds him of home.
“Because I have Anders right now, I don’t feel like it’s too different than being home. The biggest difference is that I’m kind of bored here because I don’t have all my friends. I lived in Stockholm which is also the biggest city in Sweden and there’s a lot going on there all the time. I’m used to going to school with all my friends. That’s why I like having Anders, he’s like me, we want to go stuff, explore,” Samuelsson said.
As far as first impressions of the team go, both players have noticed a strong will to play here in the U.S.
Anders shared his experience, “It’s very competitive in the U.S.” That’s one thing European coaches stress when their players are coming to play over here, is that will to compete. There’s definitely some Europeans that don’t have that. But the ones that are able to compete are very successful. The Erik Karlssons of the world.”
According to the two young men, the serious factor is also kicked up a notch here in the states.
“My first impression is that it’s way more competitive. There’s more hustle. Everyone is really skating here while on my old team, we were more joking around on the ice. We didn’t really have to hustle as much,” Samuelsson said.
Both players learned a great deal playing a more European style of hockey, and look forward to implementing some of the skills they learned over in Sweden here in the U.S.
The players shared they are most excited about having the games finally kick off. With a 50 game season ahead of them, they two have a lot of hockey to look forward to and prepare for.
The team kicks off their season against Total Athletics Seahawks next Friday night September 22 at 7:30 pm at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center.