Drew Doughty
Drew Doughty
29-Year-Old DefensemanD
Los Angeles Kings
Injury Head
Est. Return 10/17/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The long-time blueline stalwart for Los Angeles suffered right along with the rest of the franchise in 2018-19, posting the worst plus-minus of his career by a mile -- his minus-34 was double even the minus-17 he put together as a teenage rookie still getting his feet wet in the NHL. Doughty's struggles had less to do with any decline in defensive skills on his part and more to do with how little offense the roster around him generated at even strength, as more than half his 45 points came with the man advantage. The 29-year-old is still a legit top-pairing defenseman who can spark an offense from the back end, and still has enough of his prime left in front of him that he might see the other side of the Kings' current rebuild, even if his overall numbers might suffer in the short term. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed an eight-year, $88 million contract extension with the Kings in June 2018.
Exits late in third period
DLos Angeles Kings
October 15, 2019
Doughty exited after hitting the boards face first in the third period of Tuesday's 2-0 loss to the Hurricanes, Lisa Dillman of The Athletic reports. Coach Todd McLellan relayed after the game that the defenseman is "feeling pretty good."
Though Doughty appears to have avoided a serious injury, he should be viewed as day-to-day heading into Thursday's game against the Sabres and may be subject to further evaluation. The 29-year-old defenseman is day-to-day. Doughty logged one shot on goal and spent two minutes in the penalty box across 22:47 of ice time Tuesday.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Not only did the Kings reward the 28-year-old Doughty with a long-term extension, but they also got him a new weapon to feed in Ilya Kovalchuk. If Kovalchuk is anything like the player he was when he last played in the NHL, Doughty will have two genuine stars available to feed on a regular basis. Regardless, Doughty racked up 50 assists last season without Kovalchuk, so he's going to be a valuable asset regardless of which Kings forwards are on the receiving end of his passes. He'll be one of the first five defensemen off the board.
After claiming his first Norris Trophy in 2015-16, Doughty's numbers dipped last season. He still notched 44 points and 181 shots while averaging a hefty 27:09 of ice time (3:17 with the man advantage). He also posted a team-high plus-8 rating while maintaining an excellent possession game (55.2 Corsi For percentage). Still just 27 years old, Doughty is in the heart of his prime and projects to remain the go-to defenseman in all situations for the Kings. He offers a high and reliable fantasy floor and also has potential to rebound in the points column. There are a few defensemen with more upside, but very few are as reliable as Doughty.
Up until last season, it had been quite a few years since Doughty’s stats had kept up with his billing as one of the game’s top blueliners; he hit 50 points for the first time since way back in 2009-10, with a career-best plus-24 rating serving as a tasty side dish. Still only 26 years old, Doughty ought to offer fantasy owners more of the same over the next several seasons while playing for a Kings team with strong top-line scoring that relies on him heavily in all situations. Indeed, Doughty’s been one of the most-used players in the NHL, particularly over the past two campaigns (29:00 and 28:01 of average ice time), and the durable two-way blueliner should continue enjoying heavy minutes for years to come. He may not post the sort of high-end point totals that we get from the league’s elite offensive defensemen, but Doughty offers one of the most well-rounded fantasy lines you’ll see.
Doughty backed off a bit from the double-digit goal scoring he'd churned out over the past few years, but it didn't qualify him as a fantasy disappointment last season. One of the top two-way defensemen in all of hockey, Doughty atoned for his low total of seven goals by adding 39 assists, which was tied for fifth among Western Conference blueliners. The 25-year-old's biggest strength is his durability and fitness, as he averaged 29 minutes of ice time last season, just four seconds off the league lead. After finishing second in Norris Trophy voting, Doughty is one of if not the most valuable players in all of hockey and a lock to be one of the top defensemen chosen in your league’s draft.
Doughty led the Los Angeles blue line with 10 goals and 27 assists, but it still left a bunch of his fantasy owners screaming for more. After all, that was just good enough for a tie for 29th in points among fellow rearguards. It's pretty clear that his 59-point effort (thanks to 31 points on the power play) back in 2009-10 was his high-water mark offensively, as he's failed to top 40 points in each season since then. He's still the Kings' No. 1 defenseman, but at this point his reputation likely exceeds his fantasy production. Don’t overrate.
Doughty had another fine season (six goals, 16 assists in 48 games), but still disappointed most fantasy owners who were banking on more. Right now, his breakout season in 2009-10 (16 goals, 43 assists, nine power-play goals, 22 power-play assists) seems more like an outlier than a sign of things to come. And he's really going to have to do more damage on the power play if he's to approach that kind of production again. It remains to be seen if the emergence of Slava Voynov as another power play threat will open things up a bit for Doughty or further reduce his role with the man advantage.
Doughty, perhaps more than any player on the Kings, seemed to benefit the most from the midseason coaching change as he was a totally different player under Darryl Sutter and could have taken home Conn Smythe honors if Jonathan Quick hadn't stolen the show in the postseason. Factor in a contract dispute that wiped out his training camp and it's easy to find excuses for his slow start that resulted in his lowest goals (10) and points (36) since his rookie season. A bounceback season would seem to be on the horizon.
Doughty took a bit of a step back (11 G, 29 A) from his breakout season of 2009-10 (16 G, 43 A) in large part due to a lack of production on the power play (15 points last year compared with 31 from the previous year). He'll continue to log heavy minutes on the Kings' blue line and will remain a fixture on their top power-play unit so a return to his 2009-10 season isn't out of the question if the Kings' power play clicks.
Doughty led the Kings' blueline in goals (16) and was second on the team with points (59), trailing only Anze Kopitar. He did most of his damage on the power play (9PPG, 22 PPA) but still managed a plus-20 rating, as well. He's already among the elite defensemen in the league and will turn 21 in December. He'll be among the top five in blueline scoring again this year.
Doughty enjoyed a pretty effective rookie campaign, racking up 27 points in 81 games while logging more than 20 minutes of ice time on a nightly basis. The addition of Rob Scuderi may help Doughty take the shackles off his offensive game and he should improve on last year's totals if he can avoid the sophomore slump.
Doughty enters training camp with a lot of intrique around him. He's a franchise-type of defensemen with some offensive skill and the Kings could certainly use some help on their blueline. He's worth keeping an eye on in keeper leagues but his offensive game will likely take a few years to develop.
More Fantasy News
Three points in OT victory
DLos Angeles Kings
October 8, 2019
Doughty potted the game-winning goal on the power play and added two helpers in Tuesday's 4-3 overtime win over the Flames.
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Collects power-play goal in loss
DLos Angeles Kings
October 6, 2019
Doughty scored a power-play goal on one of his two shots and was minus-1 while adding six hits, three blocked shots and two PIM in Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Oilers.
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Riding modest point streak
DLos Angeles Kings
April 2, 2019
Doughty deposited an empty-net goal and tossed three hits in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Coyotes.
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Tallies overtime winner
DLos Angeles Kings
March 30, 2019
Doughty deposited his seventh goal of the season to help the Kings earn the 3-2 overtime win against the Blackhawks on Saturday.
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Continues unselfish play
DLos Angeles Kings
March 19, 2019
Doughty generated a power-play assist in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Kings.
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