Andreas Martinsen signed as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche on May 15, 2015. The left wing was recalled from San Antonio on Nov. 8 and has been a mainstay in the Avs lineup ever since. The Baerum, Norway, native made his NHL debut on Nov. 10 at Philadelphia, becoming just the eighth Norwegian-born player to play in the league. Martinsen recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Nov. 14 at Montreal and registered his first career goal on Nov. 21 at Washington, making him the fifth Norwegian-born player to score an NHL goal. The forward scored his first career game-winning goal on Dec. 12 at Nashville. He chatted with ColoradoAvalanche.com earlier this season about joining the organization.
What influenced you to play hockey?
"It was actually my sister who started playing. I just came to watch her practice and then the coach asked me, ‘Do you want to try?’ I said yeah, I will give it a shot but I probably won’t like it because I was all into soccer. Then I started playing and I loved it, and I just kept playing."
When did you switch your focus from soccer to hockey?
"Probably when I was 10. I probably knew that I would play hockey then and that was my first focus. I still played soccer in the summer because we didn’t have ice in the summers in Norway. So when hockey season was over, I would be out all day and play soccer. I probably played soccer all the way until I was 14 or 15 in the summers, but hockey was number one."
Who was your favorite player growing up?
"My all-time favorite player was Peter Forsberg. Just from when I started watching the NHL, and I watched him and his highlights. The way he played was for me just the perfect hockey player. He could do everything. He was my favorite player."
Did you get to talk to Forsberg at the 20th Anniversary Team ceremony?
"Yeah, I actually talked to him a little bit and that was pretty cool."
How do you like Denver?
"I like it a lot. I like that you have the mountains, and when there is snow it kind of reminds me a little bit of Norway. You also have a nice city. I really like it."
After you scored your first goal you said that it was exciting but hopefully your next goal would make a difference in the outcome of the game. What did your second NHL goal, a game-winner in Nashville, mean to you?
"Obviously it was a tough, tight game, so I was just excited to get a chance to win a big game for us. I mean to be able to score that goal felt amazing. To know that you are out there and you are helping the team win games, there is no better feeling than that."
Do you have a pregame routine?
"No, I just need to play some two touch soccer with the boys, but nothing special. I just try to be focused and ready."
What would you do if you couldn’t play hockey?
"That’s a good question. Right now, I would probably study something because I have no idea. I have a couple buddies who are actually firefighters and maybe that is something that I would be doing, but honestly I have no idea."
Do you have a favorite TV show or movie?
"My favorite TV show is probably Game of Thrones. I just finished watching it for the second time now. That’s probably my favorite."