Yahoo! Sports came out with their list of the NHL’s Top 25 Defensemen
heading into the 2015-'16 campaign. Drew Doughty
is positioned at #1.
Ever since Doughty was drafted 2nd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, he’s been a mainstay on the Kings’ blue line. And more recently, he’s been a horse on the Kings’ back-end, logging ridiculous minutes for Darryl Sutter’s defensive corps.
Doughty led the NHL in minutes played in 2014-’15 with 2,377:24 – and was second in the league in average minutes played per game with 28:36 – behind only Ryan Suter’s 29:24.
To call him dependable would be a drastic understatement. In his seven seasons with the Kings, Doughty has missed only 16 of the 540 regular season games the club has played. In the Kings’ five consecutive playoff appearance from 2010-’14, Doughty played in all 76 postseason games.
Doughty brings more than consistent gameplay and heavy minutes, however. He’s a vocal leader on the ice, he plays with raw emotion, and he has an extremely high degree of hockey sense that simply cannot be taught.
Yahoo! Sports’ Sam McCraig recently came out with a list of the top 25 NHL players at each position heading into the 2015-’16 campaign.
“He can control the flow of the game more than any other player in the league thanks to his superb skating and hockey sense.”
One of the main reasons why Doughty logs so many minutes is his ability to control the pace of a game. He’s got the ability to slow the tempo to a game when need-be, and can up the pace with his superb vision and skating technique when there’s a situation that allows for the defensemen to take an offensive approach.
He’s a lock to play the point on any given power play, and is trusted on the penalty kill, as well as defensive situations in critical moments late in games.
Doughty is under contract through the end of the 2018-’19 season, when his eight-year contract with the club will expire. He will turn 26 this upcoming season on December 8th.
You can see the complete list of Yahoo!’s Top 25 Defensmen list heading into the 2015-’16 list HERE