ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The Odessa Jackalopes have a 25-man roster with four international players who made their way to West Texas. Viktor Johansson was born and raised in Linkoping, Sweden, and traveled a long way from home. In fact, a little more than 5,000 miles to continue his hockey career.
"It's my first season from back home like not staying with my family, so that's been hard like mentally and stuff," said Johansson.
Viktor suited up to play for the first time when he was 5-years-old, but learned about the sport way before that.
"My dad used to play hockey so he took me to the rink when I was two and I started skating," said Johansson.
Hockey is a sport with many exciting plays but for Viktor, there's two reasons this is his favorite pastime.
"The comradery. The competition," said Johansson.
While the mentality of the game hasn't changed, the playing style is a little different so some of the players had to adjust.
"It's been up and down. The hockey is a lot different from back home, a lot harder. The rink is smaller so it's been an adjustment. It's like 5 yards smaller. You have less time so that's probably the biggest difference from back home," said Johansson.
Although Viktor may be far from his family, he has found a home away from home.
"The connection everybody has with each other, the team is so close. I love that," said Johansson.
Viktor's goal is to get a college commitment and play at the next level. After six away games, the Odessa Jackalopes are back on their home ice this weekend for the first time this month taking on the Corpus Christi IceRays.