A Boy from Boston with a Dream

From Boston to Salt Lake to Gillette, Victor Nukovic has had an eventful journey with hockey leading the way

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Victor Nukovic

Victor Nukovic glides across the rink during a game with the Gillette Wild.

When you think of common boy high school sports, football and basketball probably come to mind. This is especially true on the West Coast, although if you proposed this question out East, other sports would come up in the conversation such as hockey and lacrosse. Victor Nukovic had to make a difficult journey across the country, but his passion for hockey has been carried coast-to-coast.

Victor has been playing hockey nearly as long as he can remember, since he was four to be exact. His unconventional entry into the sport ensured he was ready the moment he got onto the ice. “I learned to skate with figure skaters instead of hockey players and only put on hockey gear once I learned to skate,” Nukovic said. By learning how to skate rather than start with the fundamentals of hockey, Victor was a natural by the time he put his pads on. His love and passion for the sport was evident early on and fueled a desire to get better.

A young Nukovic celebrating on the ice back in Boston. (Victor Nukovic)

This strong desire led Victor onto some very strong teams. “Growing up, I played on multiple teams. They were all at different levels, and it’s hard to compare them.,” Nukovic stated. “I was an alternate player on a team that went to the Quebec International Peewee Tournament. Being an alternate player meant that I only practiced with the team. I only played in three games with them, but that team was among the top fifteen teams in the country. Those practices really pushed me to be better and showed me why I wanted to work hard,” Nukovic continued. Playing with a team this strong demonstrated the gold standard of youth hockey and Nukovic’s desire only grew from there.

Victor Nukovic in JDCHS’ teal and navy representing the high school hockey team.

From Boston, Victor came to Salt Lake City to attend Juan Diego because of his dad’s employment. Although he left his old home behind, he kept an important thing with him. “No matter where I am, I enjoy hockey the same amount,” Nukovic said. “It was different in Utah because the skill gap between the top-level players and the lower level players is a lot greater than in Massachusetts. It didn’t mean that I enjoyed hockey less. I loved every moment I was out on the ice…If I had a test the next day or had problems with friends, none of that mattered as soon as I got on the ice. It’s like time stops for a while, and all that matters is the ice and you.” Nukovic continued. Victor continued to take hockey seriously and even caught the eye of coaches in Gillette.

Pullquote Photo

I am happy with how my career has gone so far. Every person has a different path in hockey, and this is my path.”

— Victor Nukovic

He made a sudden leap to play in the NA3HL, but in his career, he doesn’t see one specific moment that led him to this path, but rather the culmination of everything he has done. “There wasn’t one big breakthrough that allowed me to play Junior Hockey. In reality, it’s just hard work throughout my entire career that gave me the opportunity to reach the next level. The work won’t stop now,” Nukovic said.

Victor Nukovic(#3) talking with his Gillette Wild teammates before a game. (Victor Nukovic)

Now Nukovic resides in Wyoming as he plays for the Gillette Wild. He says he has enjoyed his time on the team, stating “My team in Wyoming is great. Even though I am one of the younger players on the team, I feel that I am welcomed just as much. I enjoy it immensely, and every moment I am on the ice, I feel like everyone on the team has the same love for the sport that I have.” He has big goals for the season, those being in winning a championship and eventually making it to the next level. “The goal after juniors is to be able to play college hockey. My team has been talking with colleges to try and give exposure to myself and my teammates, but right now, I am not taking this time for granted, and I am working hard to play hockey to the best of my ability,” Nukovic continued.
Nukovic has been a positive influence on the JDCHS community and his happy and true personality as well as his high ambitions will help him to continue breaking his own ceiling. Hockey is an important vessel in his life and he doesn’t plan on stopping just yet. “I am happy with how my career has gone so far. Every person has a different path in hockey, and this is my path,” Nukovic finished.