Aug 1, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT
When Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar referred to Drew Doughty as “our Nick Lidstrom” back in May, was that really an outrageous statement? Let’s get this out of the way: Doughty hasn’t accomplished even half of what Lidstrom did, but at the age of 24, Doughty has achieved a lot.
Doughty has played a huge role in the Kings’ resurgence and is one of the main reasons they’ve won the Stanley Cup in two of the last three years. It’s not just his teammates or admires that recognize what he brings to the table either. Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray identified Doughty as the difference between his squad and the championship Kings.
He’s also excelled internationally as illustrated by his two Olympic gold medals and his gold medal from the 2008 World Junior Championship. He was also part of the 2008 tournament’s All-Star team.
At the same time, while he has played a big role in guiding teams to victory, he doesn’t have much in the way of individual awards. He’s never finished higher than third in the Norris Trophy voting and the last time he even got that high was in 2009-10 when he recorded 59 points. The Norris Trophy typically goes to a blueliner that’s prolific offensively in addition to being strong in other aspects of the game, but Doughty hasn’t recorded more than 40 points since 2009-10.
To put that into context, the last Norris Trophy winner with 40 or less points was Rod Langway in 1983 and 1984.
With that in mind, is Doughty the best defenseman in the world today? Is the fact that he hasn’t won the Norris Trophy yet holding him back from that title?
More Kings day coverage:
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 6
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 15
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 5
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 25
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’ 28
- Keeping Kuemper: Wild sign goalie to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5M 15
- Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau 9
- Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’ 8
- Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks 28
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (65)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)