The 32-year-old is back in Norris Trophy form as the Kings look to secure a playoff spot before the season ends.
Drew Doughty of the LA Kings is one of the more passionate players in the league. Don’t let his famous toothless smile fool you, he has been known to be very agitated when people doubt his hockey skills and playing ability.
The past couple of seasons have not been Doughty-like. His defense and offense both suffered as the Kings were struggling to put wins together. Hockey experts and fans wondered if he was washed up and ready to retire. Drew Doughty was not Drew Doughty.
The second overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Kings came in like a house on fire. Offensively leading the way, the defense was sharp and he showed great promise early in his career. He then went on to be a key part of two Stanley Cup winning teams. Over the past few seasons, his game seems to be coming back into form slowly, that same form that won him his first, and only, Norris Trophy in the 2015-16 season.
The London, ON native, is defying the odds and getting better with age. Now 32, Doughty is faster, hungrier, and as anxious as ever to prove people wrong. He has been paired with Mikey Anderson and is now allowed to play his type of game without second-guessing going up ice.
The resurgence of Doughty can only be contributed to the determination he has to win another Cup before he retires. His leadership is also coming into play more than ever with young players earning call ups and ice time. He has been a mentor to the rookies on the team, providing critical information to help their game along.
Offensively, Doughty has found his game as well. In 2019-20 he registered 35 points on seven goals and 28 assists in 67 games with 36 penalty minutes. During the 2020-21 season, he had eight goals and 25 assists for 34 points and 26 penalty minutes in 56 games. This season he has seven goals and 23 assists for 30 points and 24 penalty minutes in 35 games.
Yes, Drew Doughty is on the back half of his career. However, he is aging like a fine wine. His offense, skating, determination, and all-around game are back in form and he looks to be a dominant force once again.