The Kings have released the "Kraken" on the ice
March 31, 2022
Expansion team, the Seattle Kraken, made their first visit to play the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena on Saturday, but something else unfolded that was the highlight of the night.
Kings 21-year-old rookie defenseman, Jordan Spence, scored his first NHL goal to help his team beat the Kraken 4-2.
He scored late in the second period of his ninth NHL game (debut was March 10, 2022). It was a shot from the right side at the blue line, a gorgeous, hard wrist shot that made its way through a crowd of players untouched and found the upper left hand corner of the goal. It seemed as if Kraken goalie, Philipp Grubauer, never had a chance.
The fans celebrated with a standing ovation for the Australian-born, Japan-raised Canadian who was drafted in the fourth round, 95th overall, in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Kings.
Spence is the first skater with Japanese citizenship to play in the NHL, and is fluent in English, French, and Japanese. He started playing hockey at the young age of five under the tutelage of his father.
With Drew Doughty still on the shelf with an upper-body injury, this is a good sign seeing Spence step-up his game to provide the Kings with offense as they make a push for the playoffs.
As it stands right now, Spence has one goal and three assists and has a bright future.
He lit up like a pinball machine when asked about his first goal.
"It feels amazing," Spence said. "Just going into the game, I just wanted to focus on the simple things, trying to do the simple things on the ice in the O-zone and the D-zone. It was good to see that shot go in, and it was obviously an unbelievable feeling and I wouldn't have done it without my teammates."