Alexander True. Image by: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images
Alexander True is playing in his third world juniors, and he and the Danes hope to build on last year's near-upset of Russia.
In his third season with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, Alexander True has plenty driving him. After being passed over at the 2016 draft, the 19-year-old native of Copenhagen knows he has a challenge ahead of him to land on the radar screens of scouts for the 2017 edition this summer.
“It’s a really big year for me so I’ve been working really hard in practices and in the gym,” True said. “It’s been motivating because I don’t know what’s going to happen with me next year so I want this year to be good.”
Through the first 30 games of the season, the 6-foot-5, 199-pound center had 10 goals and 19 points – well on his way to eclipsing his previous high of 14 goals set last season.
The two-way center takes pride in his defensive zone play, and considers himself more of a playmaker than a shooter. The son of 1986 New York Rangers draft pick Soren True tries to emulate Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar on the ice.
“I like to watch him play and model some of my stuff after him,” True said. “He has a big body, he’s tall and he takes pride in the defensive zone too, (and has) really good play-making ability.”
This Christmas will mark the third world junior tournament for True, who played in his first in 2015 alongside his cousin, Winnipeg Jets left winger Nikolaj Ehlers. Despite picking up just one win last year, True and the Danes have plenty to build on after nearly upsetting the Russians in the quarterfinal.
“That was really fun to play that game against Russia and almost win,” said True, who had a goal and an assist in five games. “Looking back at it, we’re pretty proud of how we played and it gives more confidence for this year and for the future, I think.”