The next Niedermayer?

Regardless of how you feel about the Kings-Ducks rivalry, there’s perhaps no higher compliment to pay a defenseman than to compare him to Scott Niedermayer. And while comparisons are always dangerous, especially for someone still a week away from his 20th birthday, Terry Murray was asked this morning if he saw certain attributes in Drew Doughty’s game that compare favorably to Niedermayer.

Doughty has 20 points and a plus-4 rating in 27 games this season. Niedermayer, at age 36, is still averaging almost 26 minutes of ice time per night. Here were Murray’s thoughts on the comparison…

MURRAY: “You do see some similarities, yes. I think the one thing that both have in common is, they recognize an important time in the game, the point in the game when it’s time to do something, it’s time to make something happen, to either build on what you’ve done or to get it back on track again. That’s the one thing that top players are able to do, certainly top defensemen. You take a look at Niedermayer, and I’ve seen him pretty much through his entire career, and that’s always what stood out when I watched him play. Doughty is showing that at times, and it’s a very nice attribute and skill to be able to have as a young hockey player, and for a coach to be able to see it.

“That’s something that we saw in his game, right from the very start, through the exhibition games a year ago. He was dynamic, he was taking charge and managing the puck and doing the right things and trying to change the game whenever necessary.”

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