As the Los Angeles Kings ventured to find solid footing through the first six weeks of the regular season, occasional questions were raised over Drew Doughty’s lack of production in a season in which his numbers weren’t leaping off of the scoresheet.

But despite what the numbers said – Doughty didn’t score his first goal until the 29th game of the season and dealt with a low plus-minus rating in the season’s first three weeks – the quality of his early-season play wasn’t necessarily captured in a basic statistical evaluation.

“The thing, especially with Dewey, is…he was still our best defenseman in the sense that he’s shutting down the Jonathan Toews and the Pavel Datsyuks every single night,” Dustin Brown said. “It’s one of those things that maybe the statsheet doesn’t show it and the fans are all over him and the media’s all over him, and everyone in the room realizes just how important he is. It’s a growing process for Dewey, dealing with those pressures of being that good, and trying to handle everything at once. He’s still young. Everyone forgets how young he still is.”

Already in possession of a championship ring at the age of 23, Doughty set a career-high in ice time with a 26:23 average – 45 seconds more than the 25:38 average from the 2010-11 season.

Though limited by an ankle injury he suffered in the San Jose series, he still offered an admirable contribution in the team’s postseason title defense and in his continued evolution as a player.

“I think he’s made great steps,” Brown said. From when me and him were rooming his first year until now is pretty remarkable, both on and off the ice, and I think there’s still a lot of room for him to grow. But for him to handle it the way he did, I’m proud of him as a teammate. Again, when I look at Dewey, the first thing I’m not looking at is how many goals he scored, because there’s a lot more to his game than scoring goals.”

Darryl Sutter referenced the broader result of the team’s defensive efforts when asked to evaluate Doughty, though he did offer a generally positive performance review.

“I think he had a good year. I think he was really typical with our team,” Sutter said. “I think we had a young defense that had a really good season. I think we can’t minimize the fact that our goals for went up and our goals against went up also. What we want to do as a group is cut our goals against a little better. So is that a reflection of Drew Doughty? Not really. It’s a reflection of our team.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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