Mats was born on September 1st 1987 in Oslo. Raised in Hasle, Oslo, he attended Hasle Primary School and Hovin Middle School. As a kid he loved playing sports. Amongst hockey, Mats also played football (soccer), handball and indoor hockey.
At the age of 3, Mats attended his first skating school at his local club Hasle/Loren, which gradually developed into an ice-hockey school, as he grew older. Mats was 7 years old when he started playing for the children’s team of local giants Vålerenga. With Vålerenga Mats won his first U-15 Norwegian Championship in 2003.
In order to continue his development as a hockey player, Mats enrolled at the Norwegian High School for top athletes, NTG, in 2004. During his years at NTG he switched teams from Vålerenga to Frisk Asker.
NTG has a strong partnership with the Norwegian Hockey League team, and this change created more consistency for Mats and provided him with the same coaching team both in high school and in Frisk Asker.
It was during his three years at NTG, while playing for Frisk Asker, that Mats started to develop as a top player. He was able to train day and night, always having supporting coaches around him who understood his offensive style of play. As a result, he debuted for the first team at the age of 17.
After graduating from NTG in 2006, Mats became a regular starter for Frisk Asker’s first team and played his first full season. The following season he was voted the Norwegian Hockey League’s MVP, picking up 64 points in 33 matches and helping Frisk Asker to win their first Norwegian Championship in 30 years.
Mats performance attracted the attention of many great teams in Europe, and he decided to sign for the Swedish greats, MODO. This gave Mats the opportunity to play side-by-side with one of the greats of all time, Peter Forsberg. Mats decision to sign for MODO is probably one of the best decisions he ever made. He gained great confidence, being given a lot of time on the ice, and had his game taken to the next level. He learned so much playing with Peter Forsberg and other great players, such as Markus Naeslund and Niclas Sundstroem.
During Mats first season in MODO he picked up 40 points in 35 matches. The following season he ended up with 64 points. That was more than any other player in the league, and as a result he was voted the MVP of the Swedish Hockey League 2010.
Being the league’s MVP in 2010, attracted the attention of the New York Rangers, who ended up making Mats dream come true: playing in the NHL. His first period with the Rangers was a bumpy one. Injuries forced him to move to the AHL team, Connecticut Whale. It took a lot of hard work and devotion to get back from all the injuries. It was a tough time in Mats life.
He was never able to settle back in with the Rangers, and this was a big hit for Mats personally. In order to get his confidence back, Mats needed to play more first team hockey at a higher level. So when the Russian club, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, wanted to sign him in 2012, he saw his chance to start over again in a new league. Mats first year in Russia and the KHL proved to be a great experience. 28 points in 44 matches and a lot of time on the ice gave him his confidence back. Mats also became a stronger and a much more physical player. His performance again attracted the Rangers, and he resigned for the team in 2013.
Today, Mats is a proud New York Ranger! Playing for one of the greatest teams in the greatest city in the world!