Player evaluation: Doughty

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DREW DOUGHTY
This season: 81 games, 6 goals, 21 assists, 56 penalty minutes, 23:50 average ice time.
The good: Where to begin? It wasn’t a surprise when Doughty made the team out of training camp, because he was considered “NHL-ready” when the Kings picked him last June, but did anyone really anticipate that Doughty would be this good? All Doughty did was play 81 games, lead the Kings in ice time and log big minutes on the power-play and penalty-kill units. Was Doughty in the class of a Nicklas Lidstrom? No, of course not, but it’s hard to imagine a 19-year-old defenseman being much better than Doughty was this season.
The bad: There are some edges to be smoothed out, to be certain, but to criticize Doughty’s game would be to trivialize how difficult it is for a teenager to play defense in the NHL.
Going forward: The only question here is, “How good can Doughty be?” The only knock on Doughty before the draft — if you can call it that — is that he was closer to being a “finished product” than some of the other prospects. That might be true, but how many of those other defensemen will ever be as good as Doughty was as a rookie? The fact is that there is still some room for improvement, and Doughty’s challenge will be to avoid a sophomore slump.

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  • Duckhunter

    Nothing really to say here, except thank you hockey gods.

  • variable

    exactly….

    what else can you say that hasn’t already been said…?!?!?

    what a talent…

    i guess getting bigger and stronger will be drew’s top priority in the off season, after his world championship games…

    but what a future he has…and say what you want about d.l….but you have to give him his props on this one…

    drew will be a serious norris candidate within three years…

    DH…

    yep…fo’ sure…

    going to be extra thankful to the hockey gods…!

  • deadcatbounce

    Agree with everything you said, Rich. Please work hard and avoid that dreaded sophomore slump, Drew!

  • anthonyy

    I give Drew Doughty an A Plus.
    Nothing more you can ask from a rookie playing a difficult position under a weak coach.

  • josh e.

    how is drew the same age as me? that i dont understand…

  • KingFan4ever

    I’d be shocked if he didn’t win the Calder. No one in the current crop of rookies even came close to his poise and consistent play. Plus he played wire to wire and logged those insane minutes. I don’t think I remember a rookie D-man to have had those stats in recent NHL history….

  • simorasa

    Unbelievable season for this kid. Can’t wait to see what next year brings.

  • variable

    kingfan4ever…

    as much as drew deserves recognition and votes…sorry to shock you…but steve mason is going to win it…10 shutouts and carrying his blue jackets to their first playoff appearance ever will make him a shoe-in…

    any other year, drew wins it…but mason will and deservingly so…

  • Johnny Kick a Hole In The Sky

    One area Drew needs to step it up is his offense. The stats don’t match the talent level. More points from the back will help our scoring problems.

  • brianguy

    A+

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Kingfan4ever…

    No matter how much DD produced for the Kings, the current crop of rookie goalies getting their teams in the playoffs, etc., make it impossible for DD to win the Calder. Don’t even take into account the infamous East Coast Bias (where no one of any importance stays up to 1 am to check out all of the west coast games).

    What’s interesting is DL selecting out DD and Kopitar as players who need to advance their conditioning over the summer. While I could understand the reasoning behind the criticism, no need to give emphasis to it here.

    The selectors of the Canadian World Team didn’t seem to have any problems with DD, either…

    Agree: A+

  • AK47

    This kid is amazing.

    A++

  • KingFan4ever

    Variable –

    Mason’s achievements are not lost on me but I consider the fact that Doughty not only delivered on expectations but exceeded them. (I don’t have a pulse on the Jackets system but I don’t think they expected this much from Mason?)

    I’ll conceed the fact that Mason is key in getting his team into the playoffs but if that where the only major determining factor then Drew doesn’t stand a chance. I would think the criteria is a lot broader than that.

    Maybe Mason does end up winning but a shoe-in? I think that’s a little too optimistic on your part. It’s clearly a lot closer than that.

  • andrew

    hes my herooooo….. i think we might have had a much worse season if he wasnt back there. his poise is something else. hes a freak of nature!

  • Cynic

    Even better than all of what has been previously said (And all of that is pretty damn good!)….

    HE’S ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A KING!!!!

    How many of THOSE guys are out there?

    Boyhood dreams, when they are this talented and have a rookie season like this, tend to come true. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes Drew’s town in a few years and HE leads us to a cup. No knock on Brownie or Anze, but DD is mature beyond his years already.

    Pair him up with a ‘Stay at Home’ with some hops like Drewiskie and watch how much Drew leads the rush into the O-Zone. Entry into the zone has been a problem for us and if Drew has significant backup, he’ll be leading a lot of those charges and we’ll finally gain some respect from the rest of the league by watching them back off the blue line….

    Drew..fantastic job! Work hard this summer and get Anze to go to the gym with you. Deano has me worried about his conditioning after his comments yesterday.

    NO MORE PANCAKES FOR ANZE!!!!!!!

  • variable

    kingfan4ever…

    fair enough…we will see…drew should finish second, hopefully ahead of pekka rinne of nashville…

    cynic…

    yeah…

    maybe take away the vanilla pancakes and the simpson slippers and give him some wheatgrass and new balances…

  • jet

    It was a perfect fit. A team in need of youth on the back line with a willingness to allow that youth to progress and develop over time. A kid with skill, who was willing to listen and learn, a coach, who paired him up with an excellent mentor and allowed him to make rookie mistakes. Win-win-win
    A+

  • B-Copter

    Impossible for a defencemen to top out at 18 years of age. He’s still a kid! I believe Burke made that silly comment. He will age like a fine wine, much like Lidstrom has.

  • Moondoggie

    He’s not Nicklas Lidstrom, yet. But he will be, he will be. This kid just oozes talent from every pore and the best part of all, he’s just 19. He was my runner-up for Kings MVP (Handzus was my first choice). Do It All Drew, what a great pick.

    No offense against the Bolts or Steven Stamkos but the Kings truly picked first in the last draft.

  • number 6

    Just thought I’d add that I heard Bill Clement speak on nhl radio yesterday wrt rookie of the year. He said for him it was DD. He did mention the difficulty of being a goalie (most difficult position) but said that Mason is 21 years old and Pekke Rinne 26 years old whereas Doughty was until recently 18. He said that he took that seriously into consideration when making his choice for Drew Doughty, rookie of the year (even though Steve Mason will surely win it… and also a deserving choice).

  • KingFan4ever

    Variable…

    Sounds cool. I really think DD will garner enough votes. If Mason gets it then that’s fine too. (he’s deserving as well)

    BakoCAcameraGuy…

    You brought up some good points. West coast hockey never gets a fair shake and that could well be the clincher but I don’t think it’s “impossible” for Drew. Like I said above, I think it will be a lot closer.

  • Ersberg

    He was ok, I guess. We could probably make a deal for him, though. Maybe we can get Dought Weight and 4th from the NYI for him.

  • Dan H.

    Drew had a fantastic season and I fully see him as a Ray Borque type. Lets hope he keeps it up.

    Anyone on the west coast is going to have a hard time winning an award if your name isn’t Gretzky.

  • Howe 9

    Doughty stuff at the Team Store:
    Game used skates 400.00
    Game used stick 300.00
    Game used jersey 7500.00
    Watching Drew play….priceless

  • Big A

    So Rich… any chance of a live draft lottery blog tonight, or do I have to crash an Islanders blog?

  • Big A

    Duh, premature submission above.

    Doughty is definitely a shining light on this team. I can’t wait to watch his development over the next two years. When he starts to relax just a little more with the puck on some of his offensive carries he’s going to be a major force.

    Calder is out of reach though. His skills are certainly worthy but stats and lack of a playoff birth aren’t in his favor. Mason & Ryan put up great numbers. Plus we all remember how little respect Kopi garnered a few years back :(

  • nykingfan

    A+++++

    This kid was better than any of us could have imagined.
    He gets our vote for rookie of the year…we all saw him on an every day basis and that’s the only way to really appreciate what he does. His point total wasn’t very high and that will work against him for Calder…but what he did on PP, PK and reg shift was phenominal.

    I think he has all the makings of a perennial Norris trophy candidate….Something that’s been missing in LA for what…about 40+ years?

    Great job DL….I’m still convinced he would have taken this kid even if Stamkos was available.

  • Marc Nathan

    I’m still a believer that many years down the road, the Stamkos pick will haunt. I love Doughty, and what he brought to the team was brilliant, and save for Larry Murphy’s rookie year (which, although defensively didn’t hold a candle to DD, was a far more spectacular rookie season — a point that would be worth asking Jim Fox and/or Bob Miller about…) there’s certainly no defenseman that came to the Kings and provided this much excitement. We’re in an era of far more visibility for players, so we can see more fans around the league aware of this kid’s play, and locally, see the merch sales on Doughty jerseys bring smiles to the Marketing Department (something you’d never have seen in 1980 with L. Murphy.)

    Still, the myopia of Kings fans is amusing. While Doughty had the benefit of staying healthy all season, it should be noted that third overall pick, Eric Bogosian made a pretty solid impact on a similarly mediocre non-playoff team (Atlanta) in his time on the blueline. Bogosian started slowly and was injured early in his 8th game with Atlanta. He missed about half the season, and returned on New Year’s Eve to play the remainder of the campaign. While not getting the minutes Doughty got from the outset, by season’s end, Bogosian was consistently over 20 minutes a game, and finished his season with 47 games played (to Doughty’s 81) – 9 goals (to Doughty’s 6), 10 assists (to Doughty’s 21) and was a plus 11 (to Doughty’s minus 15) — and believe me, +11 on Atlanta was an accomplishment on that team. Only Boston’s Matt Hunwick had a better +/- among rookie defensemen (Hunwick was a +15 on a very strong Bruins blueline.)

    Doughty’s a special player, no doubt, and will have a solid career in the NHL barring injury, but it’s more that he was a revelation after watching such dreadful Kings defense for so many years. Chances are, Bogosian would have made a similar impact on Kings fans if he had been in Doughty’s skates.

  • nykingfan

    Marc Nathan

    That was my point about Doughty and why he won’t get the recognition he deserves for Calder trophy…
    If you are going to look strictly at numbers…you can’t think he’s that great. Bogosian put up decent numbers..maybe even a little better than Doughty, but here’s the thing…I have no idea how good Bogosian really is because I don’t see him on an everyday basis.
    Being honest…how many Thrasher games did you see this year? I saw 1 the Kings game..that was it. But seeing Doughty on an everyday basis..you can see what makes him so special that numbers just don’t tell.

    Might Stamkos be a better choice down the road? Nobody knows, but one thing seems certain..It’s easier to find available great forwards than it is to find true #1 D’man on the market..whether trade or free agent market.

  • wisconsinKingsfan

    I was going to say what I didn’t like about Doughty but that would just be nitpicky and with so many things that I love about him why bother? And as Cynic noted he WANTED to be a King.
    Pair him with Drewiske all year. I love our DD-men on D.

  • brianguy

    I want to give him a numerical grade based on his overall potential for this season, so I’ll say 93/100.

    which causes me to adjust my letter grade down from A+ to A, but overall he was awesome. if he gets a little more settled offensively and lands a few more body checks he’ll be at 100 next season.

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  • Neil

    I predict DD will have 2 Cups by the end of 2014!!!!

    • https://www.facebook.com/csababhodyfitness?ref=hl Csaba A Bhody

      You are a psychic, Neil!

  • https://www.facebook.com/csababhodyfitness?ref=hl Csaba A Bhody

    I predict that he will make 7million a year in the future….

    • Neil

      Right on!!!!

  • gnosis3020

    I predict Brad Doty will have a pair of Gold Medals and Stanley Cups but will not denied a Norris trophy