Drew Doughty played on a World Junior championship team with Canada in 2008, a gold medal-winning team in the 2010 Olympics and a Stanley Cup title team with the Kings in 2012. He also was a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 2010.
Is he ready for a new role as a mentor to the Kings’ Kiddie Korps on the blue line?
“No, I don’t think so,” Doughty said Friday.
Although he’s only 23, Doughty has the accomplished resume of an older defenseman.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter, careful to avoid placing too heavy of a burden on Doughty’s still youthful shoulders, mixed his defense pairs in the wake of injuries to veterans Matt Greene (back) and Willie Mitchell (knee). Doughty played with Keaton Ellerby this week.
Ellerby, acquired recently from the Florida Panthers, is actually a year older than Doughty. There’s no comparing their work experience, however. Ellerby played only regular-season 116 games going into this season; Doughy played in 316 games.
It’s a far different pairing than when Doughty was playing alongside Rob Scuderi, 34.
“Things change,” Doughty said when pressed about adopting a new role as an on-ice tutor. “You’re not going to be with one guy forever. I’m enjoying the role of trying to help them with things and teach them different systems and whatnot. It’s fun. I love playing with (Ellerby). It’s been working well. We’re getting better and better.”