2011-12 Los Angeles Kings Player Evaluations: Drew Doughty

Drew Doughty

#8 / Defenseman / Los Angeles Kings



Dec 08, 1989

Contract Status: $7,000,000 in '11-12; UFA Summer 2019

GP G A P Points per 60 ZSAC/60 Quality of Competition PDO
11-12 77 10 26 36 0.96 (2nd) +11.3 (4th) 0.986 (1st) 986 (5th-tied)

Rankings among Kings defensemen who appeared in at least 40 games. 6 qualified.

Each stat header features a clickable link that takes you to a brief explanation.

Drew Doughty had a roller coaster of a year that started with a maligned hold out and ended with a dominant performance in the Stanley Cup final. Many thought differences in Doughty's first and second halves were night and day. We'll take a look to see if this was the case, plus other aspects of his season as we evaluate his '11-12 performance.



Among defensemen, Doughty faced the toughest competition on the team while also recording the third best possession numbers. The two ahead of him, Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez, faced much softer competition. In fact among all NHL defenseman who faced tough competition, Drew Doughty finished with the 4 best possession mark in the NHL behind only Zdeno Chara, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Ian White (Lidstrom's defensive partner).

In addition he also improved the play of nearly every teammate he played with when he was on the ice:

With or Without Doughty


Attempts w/ Doughty

Attempts w/o Doughty

Rob Scuderi 57% 46% +11%
Anze Kopitar 60% 58% +2%
Dustin Brown 58% 55% +3%
Justin Williams 58% 61% -3%
Mike Richards 52% 45% +7%
Jarret Stoll 57% 55% +2%

Teammates Sorted by ES Ice Time w/ Doughty

data courtesy of stats.hockeyanalysis.com

2nd Half Turnaround Myth

Doughty's season has largely been characterized as him underperforming in the first half while turning it around in the second. A lot of this has been attributed to the presence of Darryl Sutter over Terry Murray. Doughty's first and second halves were different but not in the way it has been characterized.
In Doughty's first 44 games, he faced extremely difficult competition. Most of these games were coached by Terry Murray. Murray chose to use Doughty exclusively against top players while also giving him a few more offensive zone starts. During this time Doughty was an elite player at driving the play (considering the competition he faced) but was bitten by poor finishing luck.
In the second half of the season, Doughty played much easier competition but started his shifts in fewer offensive zone situations. He still maintained similar possession numbers but his finishing luck remained suppressed.
In fact it wasn't until around the playoffs that his luck began to normalize and that is what people saw as him "turning it around". He was largely the same player all season (once he recovered from injury early on), but his fortunes just happened to change at the right time.
In fact, Doughty was able to get shots off much closer to the net in the regular season than in the playoffs. This is an indicator that he was getting plenty of quality opportunities in the regular season, yet the puck just wasn't going in the net.

Power play

Among the top NHL defensemen in power play time, Doughty finished in middle of the road in terms of shots being directed at the net and near the bottom in goal production. This trend even continued into the playoffs. Not the type of performance you'd like to see on the power play from a $7m/per year defenseman and an area Doughty will need to improve on going forward.

Penalty Kill

Doughty did finish with the 7th best goals against on the penalty kill in the NHL. A lot of that was due to goaltending though as Doughty was the worst among King's penalty killing defenseman in allowing shots on goal and one of the worst in the NHL.

Penalties Taken

One area Doughty consistently struggles with is taking penalties. Last year he was second in Kings defenseman behind Matt Greene. He does draw more penalties than Greene which does offset the problem a little, but still his discipline is nowhere near at the level it needs to be for a #1 defenseman.

JFTC Report Card Grade: A

In spite of Doughty's faults on special teams he more than makes up for it with his play at even strength. The vast majority of the game is played at evens and in that situation, Doughty is one of the best there is at taking on difficult competition while still posting great possession numbers. Remarkable considering he is still only 22 years old.

Even his contract, which seemed an eyesore to some during the regular season, seems like a bargain when you look at others making similar money. How many on that list would you take over Doughty at this point?

What would you grade Drew Doughty's '11-12 season?