Johan Backlund says his injury woes have motivated him in his fight for a spot in the NHL. He has also learnt that there's no glamour in playing in the AHL.
"I've been unlucky with injuries. Now I just have to play a lot. I have to show what I can do now."
Especially among European players, AHL has the reputation of being the league where no one wants to stay around for long. Backlund is no exception.
"It's tough to be here", he admits. "All the players want to be somewhere else... in the end. Everyone wants to be in the NHL."
Having AHL experience for a year now, Backlund doesn't have to think for long about what's the worst part in playing in the AHL.
"Worst part is the travel. We only play on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays so that we could get some people to our games. So every weekend we have three straight games. And they can be both away and home and we only ride the bus. It can happen that we come to the hotel at 4 am and then we play a game at 3 pm."
Backlund has his personal goal set in the NHL and doesn't think it's just an unrealistic dream.
"I know that I have a pretty good chance at getting to the NHL. And that's where I want to be. That's where everyone wants to be."
This report was based off of a Swedish-language story in the publication Expressen.