Q&A with Marcus Johansson

Hockey star Marcus Johansson returns to his native ­Sweden on 6 October with the New Jersey Devils in the 2018 NHL Global Series.

How did you become a hockey player?
My dad enjoyed playing hockey as I was growing up. My uncle Gunnar was a coach for one of the Swedish Hockey League teams in Färjestad at the time. I don’t remember this, but I started skating when I was two-and-a-half. Hockey with my family just stuck with me at an early age.

What else have you done?
I’ve been lucky to be a hockey player my entire life, starting in Sweden and now in the US.

What’s your biggest ­accomplishment or proudest ­moment in your profession?
Definitely playing in the NHL. In addition, representing Sweden and winning the Olympic Silver Medal in 2014 was a great honor.

What are you working on now?
I work out daily – getting in shape on and off the ice for this coming season. I also make sure to spend time with my family and friends – we have a lot of them here back home – and I also try and play as much golf as possible.

What do you do when you don’t work?
I value spending time with my fiancée and daughter. When we’re in New Jersey, we have a lot of visitors from back home, so we spend a lot of time entertaining and showing them around New Jersey and New York.

What’s the most recent movie you saw or book you read?
Den of Thieves – great movie.

Who’s your best friend?
My brother. We grew up ­together and shared interests, including hockey. That one’s easy.

What’s your biggest dream?
As a player, winning a Stanley Cup is the number one dream. That’s every hockey player’s dream and you can enjoy it for the rest of your life.

What’s your biggest ­nightmare?
Anything bad that could happen to my family, health-wise or a family tragedy. That is the worst thing I could imagine.

What’s your earliest memory?
One of my fondest memories playing hockey is winning the Nordic Trophy. It was a tournament that had 50 teams throughout Europe. Growing up, it was always my dream to play in the arena where the final game actually ended up being held. That’s one of my earliest memories that I’m ­really proud of.

What would you do if you didn’t have your current profession?
If I wasn’t a hockey player, my dream job would be to play golf professionally. That’s a classic answer, but I don’t see myself sitting behind a desk.

How would you like to be remembered?
First, personally, I want to be remembered as a good person and a great teammate. Professionally, it is to have my name engraved on the Stanley Cup.

Which city will you return to?
Karlstad, Sweden, where most of my and Amelia’s family live. So we’re all together in the city.

Finish the following sentence: “A funny thing happened to me on the way to…”
When I was going to fly to New Jersey for the first time [Marcus was traded to New Jersey in 2017], I got to the airport in the morning and all our tickets had been canceled. Apparently, the airline had an issue with the dates on my passport for my return ticket. So they canceled my tickets and didn’t tell me. Luckily, I called the staff in New Jersey and they were able to clear it all up and I was on a flight to New Jersey at 5am the next morning!

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