Drew Doughty has a new partner on the blue line, and the defenseman has made it clear he's a big fan of his new teammate.
Tobias Bjornfot, who was drafted 22nd overall by the Kings at the 2019 NHL Draft, is the only 2019-drafted player to remain on the LA Kings roster after several cuts throughout preseason.
He's had a strong camp, showcasing his poise, confidence and puck-moving abilities in both ends of the ice.
"He just keeps getting better and better," Doughty recently gushed to The Athletic. "He's so young, so there is a chance he'll go back, obviously. But it's not because of how he's played if he doesn't make the team."
"I can joke with him (on the bench) about the song that's playing during the game or whatever," Doughty said. "He's just got that same mentality I have … just having fun out there but at the same time competing as hard as we can. It's crazy."
And the respect goes both ways, as Bjornfot enjoys sharing the ice and learning from the two-time Stanley Cup champion and 2016 Norris Trophy winner.
"I felt very good out there, and to play with Drew Doughty, he's a good person and a good hockey player, so I felt comfortable out there," Bjornfot said to LA Kings Insider. "He makes it easy. He talks a lot. So it's easy for me to make the play."
"I try to do stuff on the offense, on the blue line," Bjornfot said. "And I think I will have more confidence when I play more games."
Video: Getting to know a little more about Tobias Bjornfot
Todd McLellan has been equally impressed with the rookie, whose leadership earned him the captaincy on Sweden's gold-medal winning U-18 team.
"For a young man that hasn't lived here, he hasn't spent a lot of time in North America, he's come over to a National Hockey League camp and there's been a little bit of pressure because of his draft status," McLellan said.
McLellan added that Bjornfot has "incredible poise, very few errors or mistakes, positionally sound and unfazed when things go wrong."
Bjornfot's professional career is just beginning, but the 18-year-old is one to watch.