Patrick Thoresen (born November 7, 1983) is a Norwegian professional ice hockey left winger with Djurgården of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). He resides in Hamar, Norway, where he grew up, during the off season. He has a younger brother, Steffen who’s also an ice hockey player. His father Petter was one of Norway’s most notable players who played at five Olympic Winter Games (1980–1994). Thoresen would follow in his father’s footsteps and play in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.
Thoresen started his career with his hometown Storhamar Dragons before he shifted to Canada and played junior hockey for two teams in the QMJHL; the Moncton Wildcats, and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. In the 2002–03 season, while a member of the Drakkar, he had 108 points in 71 games played, good enough for second in team scoring. His 75 assists that season were best in the QMJHL. This was a vast improvement from his first year of junior in which he compiled 73 points in 60 games played.
His first year of pro hockey in the Elitserien was a learning year for him in which most of his time was spent with the Division 2 team, Mörrums GoIS IK. He worked hard down there and put up 41 points in 38 games and eventually found himself back among the Swedish elite. He then spent the next two years playing for Djurgården full-time, playing a total of 80 games and collecting 53 points, 27 of them being goals.
On May 31, 2006, Thoresen signed a contract with the Oilers as a free agent. He was somewhat of a major surprise in training camp before the 2006–07 season, and played well enough for Oilers coach Craig MacTavish to publicly state that he had earned a spot on the roster.
Thoresen became only the fifth player from Norway to play a game in the NHL, the others being Bjørn Skaare, Anders Myrvold, Espen Knutsen, and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen. In fact Thoresen was the first Norwegian NHL’er not previously drafted.
Thoresen scored his first NHL goal on October 12, 2006 against the San Jose Sharks (Evgeni Nabokov). He tallied four goals (including two game winners) and notched 12 assists in 68 games during his rookie campaign. He was a -1, among the best of the Oilers regulars that season.
On February 22, 2008, Thoresen was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers.
On April 11, 2008, Thoresen was hit in the groin by a Mike Green slapshot during a playoff game against the Capitals. Thoresen was taken off the ice and driven to a local hospital. He returned to action later in the playoffs, after becoming the first Norwegian born player to take part in NHL postseason play.
On July 14, 2008, Thoresen signed a one-year contract with HC Lugano of the Swiss League. He finished the season totaling 63 points in 48 games, good for third overall in the NLA.
On May 21, 2009, Thoresen signed a two-year contract with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League. He finished the regular season with 57 points in 56 games, sixth overall in the entire KHL. He also led all players in the plus/minus category with +45 (the previous season best was Alexei Tereshchenko with +41). He scored seven game-winning goals (2nd overall), including four consecutive game-winning goals to end the regular season.
During the offseason of 2010 he opted out of his current contract with Salavat Yulaev, seeking a new NHL contract but after failing to do so, he decided to stay with Salavat for another season. Thoresen ended the 2010/11 KHL regular season as second overall in point scoring (65), second in goals scored (29) and third in assists (36). During the playoffs he amassed a total of 18 points en route to winning the Gagarin Cup, as the first Norwegian ever. His three goals and fifteen assists was tied with Alexander Radulov for the team lead in points and fourth overall in the KHL.
Thoresen is a two-time nominee for the Norwegian team sports athlete of the year award (Idrettsgallaen – 2009 and 2010).
In April 2014 Thoresen inked a one-year extension with SKA St. Petersburg
Thoresen has represented his country of Norway on the Norwegian national team numerous times. His first experience came at the IIHF World U18 Championship in 2000 and 2001. He played in the World Junior Championships (division 1) in 2001 and 2002. In 2002, he posted excellent numbers: four goals and four assists in five games.
He culminated in representing the men’s team in the World Championships in 2006 and 2007, picking up a goal and four assists in the six games in 2007.
He was selected to represent Team Norway at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, in which he had an impressive tournament and tallied five assists in four games. At the 2010 World Championships in Germany he notched six points in six games and led all players in scoring after the preliminary round.
He was second in tournament scoring at the 2012 World Championships, tallying 18 points in only eight games. This included a 3-goal, 6-point effort in a 12-4 win over Germany. He was also named to the tournament’s all-star team, becoming the first Norwegian ever to be named to the IIHF top division all star team.