No one is more ready for the 2019-20 season to begin than Drew Doughty.
The LA Kings defenseman, who was attending San Jose Sharks Logan Couture's charity event last week in London, Ontario, expressed his eagerness to get back on the ice after finishing second-to-last in the league last season.
"We're excited to have another opportunity to show everyone we still have it and we can still be a contending team," Doughty said to NHL.com. "It might not be right off the bat, it's going to take some work, but it's going to happen."
"All the guys on our team take it personally," Doughty said. "We have worked our whole lives to be at this point and we're all honored and have a lot of pride to play for the Los Angeles Kings, and we failed the entire organization last year."
Doughty is entering year one of an eight-year contract that he signed last offseason. Out of all NHL players, he finished second in ice time per game (26:36) last year and finished first in ice time the past two seasons. Recently, he was named No. 9 on the NHL Network's Top 20 Defensemen in the NHL.
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"I can't put a measure on how personally motivated I am for this season," Doughty said. "Last season was a disappointment and a big embarrassment. I'm expected to be one of the best guys on my team and a leader. I'm really looking forward to bringing us back to where we need to be. My determination is going to be at (the) maximum."
This offseason, General Manager Rob Blake laid the groundwork for the future at the 2019 NHL Draft, adding nine players to the organization, including first round picks Alex Turcotte and Tobias Bjornfot.
"I think our GM has done a great job of getting that in the offseason through draft picks," Doughty said. "We're looking up and I think this year is going to be better than last year."
"We have some great players still on our team and some great prospects coming up," Doughty said. "Last year was obviously not the direction we wanted to go, but last year is in the past, we've learned from a lot of the mistakes we made. Everyone has worked really, really hard in the offseason, more than ever. We're ready to get back to top form."