by Niki Ardebili & Samantha Wexler / ColoradoAvalanche.com
Goaltender Adam Werner was the Colorado Avalanche's fourth selection (fifth round, 131st overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25th, 2016. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound netminder spent the 2018-19 season in Sweden with Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League. He finished the season with a 15-6-3 record, 2.02 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in 26 games.
In 2017-18, Werner played in 47 contests for IF Bjorkloven of Sweden's Allsvenskan league and earned a 26-21-0 mark, 2.34 goals-against average and .915 save percentage . At the end of Bjorkloven's season, Werner came to North American on an amateur tryout and appeared in four contests with the American Hockey League's San Antonio Rampage.He tallied a record of 2-1-0 in those four appearances with a 3.35 goals-against average and .880 save percentage.
Werner signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Avs on May 13, 2019. The Mariestad, Sweden, native recently talked with ColoradoAvalanche.com about signing his first NHL contract and the upcoming season.
You signed with the Avalanche in May, what was going through your head when you put pen to paper on the contract?
"I think I took the right steps and of course that's a big dream and big goal for me to sign a contract. I think it's great timing for me, there's not too many goalies in the organization, so it's really just a great time for me to get over here."
You played in a couple of American Hockey League games at the end of the 2017-18 season, how was that experience for you?
"I just got over here, and you see and learn first. Then, I started four games, so it was big. It was the highest I have played, so they were fun games and you learn a lot. I think it was great for me and especially now to get those games. The last game we played at Texas, and we won in penalty shots. They got to the finals, so it was a great team and a great game."
This upcoming year will be your first season in North America, what are you most excited about?
"It's so much, but mainly it's a new country. Many new things off the ice and on the ice, of course. It's so much, I think you need to take it one step at a time because it's so many new things."
You have played in Sweden your whole career, what do you think you can take out of those games as you move over to the smaller ice here?
"I had two good years in the second league (Allsvenskan) after being drafted, and I took the stuff to the top league (SHL) last year. I think I did well, and I think I'm ready to get over here, so I'm excited for it."
Do you have any friends from Sweden that have also moved away from Europe to play in North America?
"Yes, a few. One in Boston's organization and one in the New York Ranger's organization. There's really a bunch of people I played with, so they're over here and I talk with them a lot. They tell me what is going on over here, so that is great."
You're on the taller side, standing at 6-foot-5, how does that help your game?
"Of course, there's some good things and some negative things. It's a bit harder to move sometimes, you need to work on your range and stuff like that. Being big is great--a big goalie is great. There are a lot of positive things."
How would you describe your playing style?
"I think I am a calm goalie that talks a lot and is always in the right position. I like to play with the stick."
Do you have any pre-game routines?
"Before a game I usually eat pasta with meat sauce. I always show up really early at the rink, maybe three hours before the game. And every time, pretty much the same thing. I like to warm up and be the first on the ice."
Who is your all-time favorite player?
"I have to say Henrik Lundqvist. I watched him when I was growing up. He played for my favorite team and is from Sweden, so definitely him."