A native of St. Albert, Alberta, Nick Holden signed a two-year contract with the Avalanche as a free agent on July 5, 2013. He is in his first full NHL season after playing seven games previously in 2010-11 and 2012-13 as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Holden had a strong training camp with the Avs, making the team's opening-night roster and has since become a mainstay on defense. He is also one of the leading scorers among Avs defensemen. Holden recently sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com.
When you’re not doing something hockey related, what do you like to do?
“I like hanging out with my family and with my boys.”
If you could play any other professional sport, what would it be?
“Baseball. I just grew up playing baseball. We didn't have high school baseball back home, but we played the equivalent to the high school level.”
When you first got called up to the NHL, how did you feel?
“Excitement, just total excitement. I called my parents, called my wife, and everybody I knew just to let them know I got called up. It was just excitement.”
Growing up, what did you say when someone asked you, 'What do you want to do when you're older?'
“When I was really young, I never really said anything. As I got older, I wanted to get into trades; carpentry or plumbing.”
What would you like to do after hockey?
“I would want to do something like that, a trade or something where I can use my hands. It kind of depends on how long I can play hockey, but I like to do hands-on kind of stuff. I’ll try to get into something like that.”
What is your favorite part about living in Denver?
“It reminds me a lot of home. The people here are really nice. Everybody's very polite. I like it that when you pass by people on the street that they say 'Hi.' A lot of it reminds me of home. The mountains are right here. It’s awesome to have mountains only a few hours away. We have mountains back home.”
What is your advice for players who want to be 'in your shoes' one day?
“If you have your passion, just continue following it. At the age of 18, I never in a million years thought I would be in the NHL. I just kind of took my time moving up through hockey and that goes for anything. Just keep pushing and work hard, and you can only control what you can control. God has a plan for everybody, so you just have to do what you can do.”
Do you have any pregame rituals?
“I don’t know if it would be a ritual, I just have the same routine. It’s just a routine. I don’t have something in my mind that if I don’t do I can’t play good. It’s just something that works, and I feel good when I’m doing it so that’s why I continue to do it.”
What was it like to have a three-point game on Jan. 18 against the Nashville Predators?
“Shocking. It was just as shocking as Jan Hejda's shot in that game. For me, those three points, I mean, my first goal just laid flat right on my stick and then my second goal I shot from a point that somehow made its way through, I didn’t even have a screen right in front. My assist, I don’t really remember. Obviously, it was amazing to get three points in one game.”