LA Kings' Top 25 Under 25: #1 - Drew Doughty

"We're better than you." - Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America

All the suspense of a blowout victory.

Rank DOB Nationality Draft Vote total
1 12/8/1989 CAN 2 (1st round), 2008
250

(Regarding the vote total: please remember that there were 10 voters, ranking from 25 to 1. Thus, the maximum possible vote total was 250.)

Since bursting on the scene for the Kings in 2008, Drew Doughty's been a Norris Trophy finalist, one of the most impressive defensemen in the entire Olympics, a Stanley Cup winner and simply one of the best (and perhaps underrated) players in the league. He's proven himself to be a big-game player, picking up 32 points in 50 playoff games; that amounts to a PPG rate better than what he's put up in his regular season career. Doughty has been relied upon by his coaches to be heavy-minute, shutdown defender that also happens to be one of the best pace-makers in the entire league. Summary: he owns.

Following a slow start to this season, Doughty has picked things up and is extremely likely to patrol the blue line for Canada's Olympic team in Sochi. Since being paired up with Jake Muzzin, Doughty has regained his form as one of the best offensive defensemen in the league and one of the best weapons in the Kings' arsenal. From the back-end, his ability to register scoring chances and gain the zone with control rates higher than most Kings' forwards.

Really, we know about Drew Doughty. What are your FAVORITE Doughty plays or memories? These are mine:

#5 - Bringing Down the Horse

Few narratives in all of sports are as interesting or worthwhile as the individual rivalry. While Drew Doughty and Taylor Hall haven't had any serious, heated battles where they display their immense skills all over the ice, the two have had their fair share of run-ins. Should Edmonton ever get themselves together and make a playoff run, the match-up between these two could be pretty fun. I'm pretty sure I remember Taylor Hall scoring a goal or two on Doughty mistakes, but I think this hit (and their careers, for that matter) gives Doughty the upper hand.

#4 - Denying a Zone Entry

Another phenomenal hip check by Drew keeps Alex Goligoski from entering the zone. One of the things that Doughty excels at more than most players in the league nowadays is closing the gap. Following, perhaps, a poor off-season in 2010 and a holdout in 2011, Doughty had some issues with his speed and agility when it came to plays like these first two hits. However, when he's on his game, the result is often a rectum-rattling blast.

#3 - Welcome to the League

The first display of his immense offensive ability came pretty early in his career. Just five games into his NHL career, Doughty corralled a puck just outside of the Avalanche blue line. Instead of dumping it in like many players would have, Doughty waited for his teammates to get onside and used his speed to carry the puck to the outside. The out-manned Avs had no answer for Doughty as he made a nice little drag move to change the angle. From there, he used J-M Liles as a screen and launched a dart into the far corner of the net. It was the first glimpse we received of his ability to read and control the pace of the game.

#2 - Living out a Fantasy

I don't know if there is any single player in the league that irks me as much as Shane Doan does. I'm not sure if it's simply because he is a scumbag or because no one outside of the Pacific time zone seems to realize it, but Doan drives me nuts. Langluy created a handy guide to remind you just how much Shane Doan really sucks. So when Drew Doughty decided to tackle him and then shove him to the ice a second time shortly before the Kings took a commanding 3-0 series lead en route to the Stanley Cup Finals, I couldn't have been happier about it.

#1 - Coast to Coast

Drew Doughty takes the shot... Scores! Magic!

Please feel free to include your own thoughts and memories and links and videos in the comments!

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