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Acclimating to Life Overseas


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When one lives his or her entire life inside one country, one city, they grow a certain bubble around them inside which is all that is normal and feels like home to them. For this Ontario kid, growing up in the city of Toronto, Trevor Van Lagen had such a small bubble around him as this. Toronto was really all he knew.  Though his family moved once across the city, and Trevor was placed in a new school, among new friends, it was still Toronto. His family was still there. His old friends weren’t far away. So when Trevor was drafted in the VHLM to Halifax, it was a big change for him. Yet, he remaining in Canada. Same currency, family still relatively close by, so many familiarities for him that there was little adjustment needed. None of this could prepare him for that day that his name was called to be drafted to Malmo. 


He didn’t know anything about Malmo. Where was it? What was life like there? How would he ever see his family and friends so far away? What currency did they use? So many questions and no answers. While there was certain excitement to being drafted into the VHL to fulfill his childhood there was also a lot of uncertainty.


Soon after he was drafted, his family went with him overseas to help move Trevor to the city of Malmo. First impressions of the city were positive for him but when it came time for his family to head back to Toronto without him, reality began to set it. He was on his own. Now what? Trevor did the only thing that he thought could bring him that “at home” feeling — he went straight to the rink. No one was around except a few staff members but that didn’t stop him from lacing up his skates. This was his comfort zone and here on the ice, everything felt right.


Over the next few days Trevor visited the rink often but didn’t do much else outside of it. At the rink he met most of his teammates over these few days. It was nice for him that some of these were also his teammates and friends from Halifax and this would make the transition here much easier, he thought. 


While he had difficulty adjusting to life outside the rink he was hoping his transition to the pros would be smoother on the rink. Unfortunately, his career began with a seven game pointless streak as he struggled to find ice time. He began producing for a good stretch hitting roughly half a point per game until recently where he again is in a pointless spell, currently sitting at an astounding 14 games and counting. His ice time is still low especially considering 40% of it is coming on the penalty kill! This is something he never thought he would do as it just isn’t an area he has been put into before. 


Fortunately communication with his GM has been good as they’ve had a number if chats regarding ice time where he has been reassured of his place on the team for next season and beyond. Trevor our serious thought into requesting a trade to be moved back closer to home and to a team that could spare him some offensive ice time but recently has begun feeling more comfortable and at home with his team in Malmo. He is remaining dedicated to his teammates and the fans in Malmo who showed faith in him at the draft and allowed him an excellent opportunity to put together a great career. 


While it is looking like he will be spending the rest of this season as the third line wing, Van Lagen hopes to establish himself as a bonafide top two center on the team starting next season. Look out for him to be in contention for most improved player of the year in S68.

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