L.A. Kings: Drew Doughty Looks to Improve Upon Outstanding Sophomore Season

After being named the Ontario Hockey League’s top offensive defensemen in two consecutive years, Drew Doughty, formerly of the Guelph Storm, was drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2008 NHL Draft.

Doughty, a London, Ontario native, grew up a displaced Kings fan who grew up wearing Wayne Gretzky and Kelly Hrudey sweaters as a child. “I was losing it,” Doughty told the Los Angeles Times on draft day. “I was a little worried. I looked at my parents and kind of buried my face in my hands. They were a little worried because they knew how bad I wanted to come here.”

Originally Kings general manager Dean Lombardi was hesitant to consider Doughty NHL-ready, even though he had tallied 50 points in 58 games with the Storm.

“Coming into training camp I know I had a chance [to make the team], but it would be difficult,” Doughty told NHL.com. “I did everything I could. I worked as hard as I could and got into those exhibition games and I thought I played well.”

The young defenseman’s hard work paid off. During his first nine games he averaged 19 minutes of ice time. Although the Kings considered sending him back to the OHL before his tenth game, they decided to keep their dynamic blueliner in LA, effectively terminating his relationship with the Storm.

“Growing up it was always my dream to play in the NHL and I worked as hard as I could to get here,” Doughty stated at the time. “To be here at 18, I definitely never thought that would happen.”

Doughty was greatly assisted by his experienced defensive partner, Sean O’Donnell (currently with Philadelphia). Although Doughty excelled in the OHL, playing defensemen at the world’s highest level is much more complicated and takes time for a young player to learn, even when they have incredible ability.

O’Donnell, who has played with ma...

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