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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Drew Doughty
Drew Doughty, the second overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, led all rookies (and the Kings) with 23:49 average time-on-ice. He played at least 20 minutes in 76 of 81 games this season (25- plus minutes in 34 games and a season-high 29:04 Nov. 22 vs. Colorado). Doughty had 27 points this season (6- 21=27), tied for first among rookie blue-liners. His 21 assists also ranked tied for first among rookie defensemen, while his six goals were tied for second. He was second among rookies with 114 blocked shots. His 27 points were the most by a Kings rookie defenseman since Lubomir Visnovsky, who had 39 points (7-32=39) in 2000-01.

Doughty capped his fantastic rookie season by winning a silver medal with Team Canada at the World Championships in Switzerland, scoring 1-6=7 with a plus-5 rating nine games. recently caught up with the young blueliner. Can you talk about your experiences at the World Championships?

"It was a lot of fun, there were a lot of great guys and I got to play with a lot of great players. So I think that experience will really help me grow and help me get better." You only missed one game during the regular season with the Kings and never seemed to hit that "rookie wall." How was it like playing those additional games at the WC and how did your body react to that?

"You know it was fine. After the season I got about a week off before I had to go to camp and it was kind of like playing in the playoffs. We had to play a few more games in a short period of time, but it wasn’t too difficult. All the guys felt pretty good and we did well, so it wasn’t too bad." Talk about the gold medal game against Russia. And were you on the ice at the same time as Alexander Frolov?

"Yeah, I was on the ice with him a couple times. I remember we were beside each other on a draw and I kind of gave him a little hack. He’s a tough player to play against. I know how good he is playing with him, but you don’t really realize it until you play against him. He uses his body down low so well… We wanted that gold, but the Russians played a good game. I felt we played a good game as well. The game was up for grabs and they were able to barely beat us." Who were some of the guys on your team that you got to know? And maybe some of the friendships you developed.

"It was a really tight group and we hung out pretty much everyday, until families, the wives and girlfriends came in, and then we don’t hang out as much. My roommate the first half of the tournament was Shea Weber and got pretty good advice from him." Were you able to watch some of the Stanley Cup Playoffs over there?

"I didn’t really watch too many games because of the time difference. But I’m catching up now. But it’s kind of cool to see how teams are doing now and where they’re at now just because it was hard to follow."

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