The transition from Europe to North America is always a tall task for any young hockey prospect, but Red Wings’ prospect Jonatan Berggren was shocked to find out that there is more than one Grand Rapids in America. According to Swedish outlet Aftonbladet, the 21-year-old showed up in Grand Rapids, Ohio after he was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Roughly translated excerpt:
Berggren says that he packed the rental car together with his girlfriend Tilde before they rolled south. She told me to enter the arena’s address on the GPS, but I could not find it. We only enter Grand Rapids so we can apply for it when we arrive, I said. It said Grand Rapids OH, and I had never heard it before. But wow, there’s probably only one Grand Rapids in the US, I thought. It was also two hours from Detroit, and they had told me it would take about that long.
Grand Rapids, Ohio is just shy of 2 hours from Detroit, so it’s not terribly outlandish to think that a 21-year-old Swede who isn’t used to driving in the U.S. (remember, Joe Veleno is the “uber driver”), to get mixed up. But when Berggren and his girlfriend arrived in Ohio, that’s when things get funny:
So it felt damn nice when there were only 20 minutes left, but still odd in some way. I’ve read about Grand Rapids and it’s supposed to be pretty big. But this looks like a village, when will the city come !? Once we entered Grand Rapids we were met by farmers as well. We checked it out and there are only seven hundred people living in that small cave.
Berggren, who is entering his first season of pro hockey in North America, was drafted with the no. 33 pick in 2018. The 21-year-old is coming off a breakout season with the SHL’s Skellefteå AIK.
The good news is that Berggren made it to Grand Rapids, MICHIGAN. He’s been practicing with the Griffins all week ahead of their home-opener at Van Andel Arena this Friday against the Rockford Icehogs. Puck drop is set for 7pm.