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:
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- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 9
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 17
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks desperate for wins, Penguins seek definitive end to slump 7
- Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings 4
- Bruins ruin Lundqvist’s return 28
- Video: Letang hospitalized after Doan hit (Update) 48
- Bruins chalk Rask’s absence up to dehydration (Update) 4
- Happy returns: Datsyuk plays for Detroit 2