Drew Doughty adopts a new role as a mentor for the Kings

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty spoke at some length Thursday about helping to ease Brayden McNabb’s burden during his debut with the team in Wednesday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks. Doughty and McNabb formed a defense pair with Doughty’s regular partner, Jake Muzzin, sidelined by an injury. Muzzin could be sidelined a while longer after suffering what he said was a “freak accident” earlier this week.

“He’s got all us veteran guys who are trying to help him as much as we can,” Doughty said. “(Assistant) John Stevens is a great coach. He teaches you a lot of little things you wouldn’t know coming up from the AHL or showing him whatever it might be. Brayden has a huge upside. I could see him continuing to get better as the season progresses. Like I said, I’m going to try to take him under my wing and do everything I can help him and get him into the lineup permanently. I like being in that spot. I’ve got to make a move. I’m not the kid anymore. I’ve got to do some things differently.”

For the record, Doughty is 24 and McNabb is 23.

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Brayden McNabb makes Kings debut in place of injured Jake Muzzin

Jake Muzzin sat out of the Kings’ season-opening loss to the San Jose Sharks because of an unspecified injury. Muzzin, one-half of the Kings’ top defense pair along, was hurt earlier in the week. His status for  Sunday’s Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., remains uncertain.

Brayden McNabb took Muzzin’s place in the lineup and played a regular shift alongside Drew Doughty. McNabb’s plus-minus rating was minus-1. He played 23 minutes, 27 seconds. Doughty was a minus-1 in a team-leading 27:28.

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Kings general manager Dean Lombardi talks about defenseman Brayden McNabb

Here’s what Kings general manager Dean Lombardi had to say about the play of defenseman Brayden McNabb, acquired Wednesday from the Buffalo Sabres:

“He fills a huge hole for us down the road. He’s already paid his dues in the minors and had a couple of cups of coffee in the NHL. He’s closer to being ready than if I had to do a deal with a junior kid. He’s got size, he can move the puck and he has a long reach. He’s over-aggressive, which I like, but we can tame the lion.”

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Kings acquire defenseman Brayden McNabb from the Sabres

The Kings acquired defenseman Brayden McNabb and second-round picks in the next two drafts from the Buffalo Sabres for forward/defenseman NIcolas Deslauriers and right wing Hudson Fasching on Wednesday. McNabb, 23, is expected to be assigned to the KIngs’ American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H. He was scoreless in 12 games this season with Buffalo and had 29 points, including seven goals, in 38 games with Rochester, N.Y., of the AHL.

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