Don Fulton, who must be a part-time detective, tracked down Drew Doughty for an exclusive interview. it’s fairly lengthy, so I’ll break it into two parts. It’s another look at a prospect who might well end up in the Kings organization next season. It’s another good read…
In his third season for the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm, defenseman Drew Doughty has established himself as one of the game’s rising young stars and likely an early pick in the National Hockey League draft in June.
At 18, Doughty already has an impressive hockey resume to say the least. The 6-foot, 213-lb London, Ontario native was named the top defenseman at this year’s World Junior Championship, and he has racked-up 39 goals and 118 assists in three seasons with the Storm.
Doughty took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions, as he and his prepare for the fourth game of its first round OHL playoff series Thursday night against his hometown London Knights. Guelph currently has a commanding 3-0 series lead and Doughty has two goals – including the overtime game-winner in game one – and two assists in the three games.
Drew Doughty Q&A
Question: How does it feel to be one of the top three guys likely to be taken in the NHL draft?
Doughty: It’s awesome and definitely an honor to be named as one of the top three, but pretty much during the season I tried to not think about it even though I’ve always had it in the back of my mind. My main goal every night is to just go out and help the Guelph Storm win and just play my best.
Question: Can you tell the readers who haven’t had the chance to see you play what your playing style is as a defenseman?
Doughty: I’m more of an offensive-defenseman. This year I’ve really worked on becoming more of a two-way player. I’ve become a lot better in the defensive zone, I like to take the body and hit a lot and I like to get the job done. I’ll do anything to get the job done, whether it is blocking shots or whatever it takes. My main thing is I like to jump into the play a lot and I like to run the power play – those are my two most favorite things to do.
Question: And how about your big shot from the point? That seems to be a serious element of your game.
Doughty: I do use it a lot. One of the main things on our power play is for me to get pucks to the net. I don’t really have the hardest shot or anything, but I work on it a lot and I’ve become a lot more accurate. My main thing is just getting pucks on net for rebounds or sometimes they’ll slip in.
Question: Is there any current or former NHL defenseman that your game resembles?
Doughty: A lot of people have said that my game resembled Nicklas Lidstrom, but I know he is an awesome defenseman – probably the best defenseman in the whole entire NHL – and he is just a great player. I kind of try and model my game after him just because he makes everything look so easy, and he’s an offensive-defenseman, always up there in points for d-men. He’s really great in his own zone and he’s a great leader, so I try and model my game after him.
Question: Talk a little bit about your three years with Guelph.
Doughty: It has really been awesome this year. We’ve definitely had some ups and downs in the first half of the season we weren’t playing to the best of our ability and we went on a 10-game losing streak. When we came back after Christmas we really started playing some great hockey and we’ve done very well for ourselves and we moved up into fifth place in the standings and now we’re up 3-0 in our series against London.
Question: You’re from London, so it has to be a pretty special feeling to be beating up on them pretty good, yes?
Doughty: I love playing in London every time and our team loves it because we have a great rivalry with them. I remember in my first season here we had a playoff series against them that we lost that one, so we are very determined to win this one this year. It is just great to go back to my home city and play in front of all my friends and family.
Question: You have a pretty good rooting section there in London?
Doughty: Actually, this playoff series, all of their fans have been booing me every time I touch the puck – all the way up and down the ice (laughs). It kind of sucks because it’s my home town, but it’s funny at the same time.
Question: You’re sure they’re not saying “DREEEEEWWWW?”
Doughty: Oh, I’m positive (laughs). They’re booing. There’s no doubt in my mind.
Question: What does that feel like? Is it motivating?
Doughty: Oh it does, very much so. I kind of hope that they are booing me to just try and get me off my game, but it gets me going and makes me want to play that much harder. I guess you could say I’m trying to throw it back in their faces for booing me.