Brodeur's success followed his father Denis, who played in the 1956 Olympics for Team Canada and won a bronze medal. After his playing career, Denis was a longtime photographer for the Montreal Canadiens. For more than 20 years, he attended all Montreal games and practices, and when Martin was old enough he came along. Martin idolized their goaltender Patrick Roy.
Martin started playing hockey as a forward. His goaltending career began when his coach asked him if he wanted to play as a backup at the position in a youth tournament. Martin explained:The next season my coach came up to me and said, 'Do you want to be a goalie or forward this year?' It was the biggest decision of my life, and I was seven years old. I don't know why I decided, but I thought it would be fun to play goal.
Brodeur's play in goal was soon noticed by fans and scouts. In 1990, he made it to the Quebec Major Junior League. While playing with the Saint-Hyacinthe Laser, Brodeur made the QMJHL All-Rookie team and the QMJHL 2nd All-Star Team in 1992.
Brodeur was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the first round (20th overall) in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
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