Nikolaj Ehlers celebrates his third period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks with teammates at the bench in Winnipeg on December 14, 2017.

Where did you grow up and how did you get into hockey? I grew up all over the place. My dad was a hockey player. Tat’s how I got into hockey. I started playing in Ger- many when I was a kid and my dad was playing there; then I played in Denmark for five or six years, then in Switzerland for five or six years. I grew up with hockey and loved it since I was a kid because of my dad.

Do you have any other family mem- bers who play hockey? If I told you how many of my family

played hockey we’d be here for a long time. My brother plays hockey. My sister doesn’t, but she watches a lot of hockey. I’ve got six cousins who play. My brother’s assistant coach is my un- cle. I had three uncles who played, and two of them played on the National Team with my dad, so there’s a lot of hockey in our family.

Did you follow the NHL when you were in Europe? You know, I tried to but it’s tough

because the games are normally at two in the morning so maybe on a weekend we’d catch an early game starting at like nine p.m., so it was hard, but you try to watch as many games as you can because it will teach you something. As soon as I came to Halifax, I watched an NHL game every night, and as soon as I was drafted by Winnipeg I think I watched almost 50 Jets games that season.

Being in the NHL now, do you still find time to watch many games, and are watching as a fan or a player when you watch? When I was in Switzerland for a

week to visit my dad who’s coaching in the top league out there, I went to watch two games. You know, you go there to watch your Dad's team, but while you’re watching you’re also learning. Every hockey game you watch, you’re going to learn something. I enjoy watching hockey games for the entertainment, but I’m also watching to learn new things.

Your dad played professional hock- ey and now coaches professional hockey. Does he still offer you advice from time to time? He still gives me advice for sure.

He’s a great dad, he’s a great coach, and when he watches a game, he still calls me the next day and talks to me about it. But obviously now at this level, I’ve got great coaches here in Winnipeg that can help me so he doesn’t help me as much as he used to. But I definitely still get advice from him.”

Before being drafted by the Winni- peg Jets, what did you know about the city? “I honestly didn’t know too much

about Winnipeg when I got drafted, but a lot of people said it was really cold. Tat was probably the first thing I heard, but it’s actually not bad at all when you get used to it. Te first week I was here, I fell in love with the city. I went and explored, learned about the city, and it feels like home for me now.”

Winter 2018 • 13

Photo by Jonathan Kozub/Winnipeg Jets.

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