A quick glance at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins roster and one would assume that Tim Erixon is from Port Chester, NY.
But not so fast.
Erixon was born in Port Chester while his father, Jan, was playing for the New York Rangers. When Erixon was 2-years-old he moved back to his father’s native Sweden, and grew up in Skelleftea, which he considers to be his hometown.
But it raises another interesting question, one that’s pretty timely thanks to the Republican presidential campaign. Erixon was born in America and his father is from Sweden. Does that mean Erixon is eligible to hold office in Sweden, say, as the country’s prime minister?
We’ll let Erixon explain that one.
Player: Tim Erixon
Hometown: Skelleftea, Sweden
Type: Small town
Distance from Wilkes-Barre: 3,872 miles
What is Skelleftea like? “It’s a small town way up north. I moved back there from the U.S. when I was two-and-a-half and lived there until I was 20. It’s not a very big town.”
Was there a lot of opportunity to play hockey in a small town in Sweden? “There was an Elite League team there that I played for. I was fortunate that I didn’t have to move and I could play pro in my hometown, which was pretty cool. Hockey’s big and it’s not that big of a country. There are two leagues that are both pretty good levels. When I was 20 I came over here to play.”
What does a small town look like in Sweden? “Similar to the small towns in the U.S. Maybe a little bit cleaner. I love the U.S., but I think that’s the case about all the small towns in Sweden.”
What did you do for fun while growing up in Skelleftea? “Sports is a big thing. Hockey. Soccer. But there was no football back there. We played a lot of street hockey. Growing up we’d always be running around. With a small town there isn’t that much traffic so you can roam around pretty freely. It was a great spot to grow up.”
Any similarities between Wilkes-Barre and Skelleftea? “It’s a smaller town here too. The people are always friendlier in the smaller towns and it’s more up my alley. Not as hectic. I enjoy Wilkes-Barre.”
Can you run for office in Sweden even though you were born in the U.S.? “I don’t even know how that works. I have the passport so I think so. I have both passports and I can vote over here too. It’s kind of easy. You come to the U.S. and show that passport and go to Sweden and just show the other one. It’s pretty convenient.”
Would you like to move back to Skelleftea one day? “I have a house back home and I go there in the summer. That’s where I think I’d live as of right now, but you never know.”