In anticipation of the Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season, we at The Hockey Writers will be doing a deep dive on each player projected to be on the opening night roster. This installment of the series focuses on Alexander True, who the Kraken selected from the San Jose Sharks.
2020-21 Team: San Jose Sharks
2020-21 Season: Seven Games Played, Zero Goals, One Assist, One Point
Type of Acquisition: Expansion Draft
Alexander True is a great depth piece that can develop into an NHL regular in the future. He also has ties to the area as, in junior, he played with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. He will most likely spend his season in Charlotte, but he will be a key piece for the Kraken in the near future.
A Recognizable Face
With True, the Kraken gets a player that hockey fans in the Seattle area have some form of familiarity with. He played three seasons with the Thunderbirds and put up 84 points in 169 games. He became a fan favourite and even scored one of the most memorable goals in franchise history.
During the 2017 Playoffs, he helped the team make their only Memorial Cup appearance in franchise history by putting up 22 points in 20 games. That season, he was given the Thunderbirds Most Dedicated Player award.
Lots of International Experience
True has been a big part of Demark’s international program since 2012. He has participated in the U16’s, U18’s, U20’s World Championships and is currently part of the team’s Olympic Qualifier roster. He was even named captain of the U20 team back in 2017. His big accomplishment while playing for his country came in 2015 when he helped Denmark win the U18’s Division 1 gold, which vaulted the team back into the top division of the U18 for the 2016 tournament.
This past summer, Ture had a solid tournament at the World Championships. He had a goal and an assist in seven games. Although he did not light up the tournament, the coaching staff has a lot of faith in him. He never played less than 16 minutes and logged 22:58 minutes in the tournament’s final game against the Czech Republic. He was consistent, didn’t make many mistakes, and helped Denmark make team history beating Sweden for the first time at the World Championship.
What He Brings To The Kraken
True does have some experience in the NHL, but most of his success has come in the American Hockey League (AHL). He has put up 128 points in 203 games, including 20 points in 27 games last year. He should be welcomed to the Charlotte Checkers this year and has a good chance to play on their first line this season.
As for his NHL experience, True played 19 games with the Sharks and recorded five assists. Last year, San Jose gave him some penalty-kill time — he logged 4:58 seconds during his seven games. The experiment was a success as the team did not allow a goal while he won on the ice and only gave up three shots on goal. He also has had success at 5-on-5. During his 19-game career, he has a positive shots for percentage, plus/minus, goals for percentage and high-danger chances for percentage. Despite the limited ice time, he has shown he can compete in the NHL and be a solid bottom-six player.
Many were surprised when True was picked during the expansion draft. More established players, including Ryan Donato, Matt Nieto, Radim Simek and Matin Jones, were available for selection. However, the Kraken, decided to take the player with the highest potential rather than a solidified NHL regular. Based on their roster construction, this move makes a ton of sense as they get a player they can rely upon in the future while still contributing now if injuries plague the team and he needs to be called up to the NHL.
Will Be A Player To Watch
True’s hockey journey has not been easy, but he has shown he is up for the challenge. He was never drafted, yet continued to work on his game and eventually earned a spot on an NHL roster. During training camp, he is sure to make a push to join the big club. Internal competition is always great to have, and True’s dedication and compete level should help push fellow teammates to work harder, so they do not lose their spot to him.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.