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Behind The Bench: Drew Doughty

by on 09/29/2011

Vitals

Born: London, ON, CAN
Birth date: December, 8, 1989
Height: 6’0” (183 cm)
Weight: 212 lbs (96 kg)
Position: Defense
Shoots: Right
NHL Draft: 2nd overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2008
NHL Team: Los Angeles Kings
Jersey No.: #8
National Team: Canada
NHL Contract: 10/11
Cap Hit: RFA

History

The Guelph Storm of the OHL selected Doughty fifth overall in the 2005 OHL Priority Selection draft. Doughty played three seasons with the Storm. Over that span, he played in 190 regular season games, recorded 39 goals and 157 points. He also played in 28 playoff games and tallied 5 goals and 27 points. During his OHL tenure, Doughty was awarded the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the league’s top defenseman and named to both the OHL and CHL First All-Star Teams. Doughty also represented Canada at the U20 WJC and helped Canada win a Gold Medal and was named the Best Defenseman of the tournament.

After a successful Major Junior career, Doughty was selected second overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings and made the immediate jump to the NHL. Doughty had a respectable rookie season, playing in all but one game during the season and finished with 27 points. Doughty was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team and participated in the Youngstars Game during the 2009 All-Star Weekend.

Doughty had a great sophomore season, improving to 59 points in 82 games and finished third in the league in scoring among all defensemen. He was also nominated as a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defensemen and became the second youngest nominee for the award. Bobby Orr is the youngest player ever nominated. Doughty was a vital piece in helping the Kings make the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and co-led the Kings in playoff scoring with Jack Johnson. Both had 7 points in 6 games. Doughty represented Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics and won gold with the team.

There were high expectations for Doughty coming into the 2010-11 season. He was coming off a 59-point campaign and was a Norris Trophy finalist. Unfortunately, he failed to build on the success of his previous season and only tallied 40 points in 76 games and 4 points in 6 playoff games. Doughty suffered a concussion early in the season that knocked him out for 6 games. It took him awhile before he started looking like himself again and at times during the season tried to do too much by himself.

The Kings failed to re-sign Doughty during the 2011 off-season and contract negotiations are still ongoing. Doughty has not been to the Kings training camp or any pre-season games and is expected to miss the beginning of the regular season.

Talent Analysis

Pros

  • Patient, Poised and composed
  • Mature for his age
  • Great instincts in all three zones
  • Outstanding passer
  • Game breaker
  • Hard accurate shot from the point
  • Physical and is willing to take the body
  • Good on-ice vision in the offensive zone
  • Smooth Skater
  • Highly competitive
  • Has good speed
  • Can carry the puck up the ice or make a great first pass
  • High hockey IQ
  • Good defensive zone coverage
  • Very good at taking away time and space from opposing skaters

Cons

  • Needs to dominate physically
  • At times tries to do too much by himself

Future

Despite not having a contract, Drew Doughty is an elite defenseman and the Kings’ franchise defender. Expect contract negotiations to be dealt with prior to the December 1 deadline as neither Doughty nor the Kings likely want the rearguard to miss an entire season.

Despite only tallying 40 points in 76 games during last season, Doughty did set a career high in points (59) the year before, so he has shown he can bring in points from the backend. If Doughty’s season is shortened this year, he’ll still put up 40+ points. If Doughty and the Kings resolve their contract issues before the beginning of the season, it’s likely that Doughty will eclipse 60 points.

Doughty has the skills to be an elite defender with an all-around ability to shut down opposing top lines in his own zone while producing in the offensive zone. In his prime, Doughty could become a 65 to 75-point producer from the blueline.

NHL Highlights

  • Drafted 2nd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
  • 1st NHL Game Played – October 11th, 2008 vs. San Jose Sharks (1-3 L)
  • 1st NHL Point – October 20th, 2008 vs. Colorado Avalanche (Goal)
  • 1st NHL Goal – October 20th, 2008 vs. Colorado Avalanche
  • 1st NHL Assist – November 6th, 2008 vs. Florida Panthers
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – November 6th, 2008 vs. Florida Panthers (Two assists)
  • 1st NHL Playoff GP – April 15th, 2010 vs. Vancouver Canucks (2-3 OTL)
  • 1st NHL Playoff Point – April 17th, 2010 vs. Vancouver Canucks (Assist)
  • 1st NHL Playoff Goal – April 19th, 2010 vs. Vancouver Canucks
  • 1st NHL Playoff Assists – April 17th, 2010 vs. Vancouver Canucks
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – April 19th, 2010 vs. Vancouver Canucks (Goal and three assists)

Career Highlights

  • 2005-06 CHL All-Rookie Team
  • 2006-07 OHL First All-Star Team
  • 2007-08 CHL First All-Star Team
  • 2007-08 OHL First All-Star Team
  • 2007-08 OHL Max Kaminsky Trophy
  • 2007-08 U20 WJC All-Star Team
  • 2007-08 U20 WJC Best Defenseman
  • 2007-08 U20 WJC Gold Medal
  • 2008-09 NHL All-Rookie Team
  • 2008-09 NHL World Championship Silver Medal
  • 2009-10 NHL Second All-Star Team
  • 2009-10 James Norris Memorial Trophy finalist
  • 2009-10 Olympic Gold Medal

Career Stats

NHL: 239 GP, 33 G, 93 A, 126 Pts
NHL Playoffs:
12 GP, 5 G, 6 A, 11 Pts
Olympics:
7 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 Pts
OHL:
190 GP, 39 G, 118 A, 157 Pts
OHL Playoffs:
28 GP, 5 G, 22 A, 27 Pts
WC:
9 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 Pts
WJC-18: 6 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 Pts
WJC-20:
7 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 Pts

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