Beyond The Benches

Top 5 Reasons Drew Doughty Will Win The Norris Trophy

Despite failing to receive so much as a nomination, many would argue that Drew Doughty was the best defenseman of the 2013-14 NHL season. Even before leading his team, the Los Angeles Kings, to their second Stanley Cup win in three years, Doughty had a strong case for the Norris trophy. While Doughty does not necessarily stand out on paper, posting barely above average statistics, anyone who watches him play can see that he is one of the best players on the ice.

Here is the Top 5 Reasons Drew Doughty Will Win the Norris Trophy:

5. – Plus/Minus. Drew Doughty finished the 2013-14 regular season with a +/- rating of 17 over 78 games played. While this is not anything to write home about, it is well above average, especially considering Doughty is nearly always defending against the opposing teams top lines. This pits him against the leagues top scorers on a nightly basis, and he still managed to finish with a positive rating while playing for a team who suffered offensively at times during the regular season.

4. – Star Power. Whether you buy in to sports politics or not, it is hard to deny that the league is going to want to pick a guy with some marketability. Look no further than LA’s Drew Doughty, considering he plays for one of the leagues top-market teams coming off of their second Stanley Cup win in three years. Additionally, it is no secret that the league likes a Norris-winner with some flash, and Doughty is known to turn heads on the ice and bury the puck when he needs to.

3. – Playoffs. Doughty comes alive during the playoffs, and it shows, considering he has been a crucial piece in the Los Angeles Kings deep playoff runs (and wins) over the last few years. This year, Doughty had 18 points in 26 games, and was almost inarguably the Kings best player, particularly over the final two series of their playoff run. He also had 16 points in 20 games in the 2012 playoffs where the Kings also won the Stanley Cup.

2. – Hockey IQ. Doughty does it all on the ice, whether it is scoring a clutch goal or playing shutdown defense. Additionally, he is almost never caught out of position, and when he is it is for good reasons. He seems to always know when to pinch, and how far down the ice to go to avoid getting beat on a turnover. He never leaves his position unless he seems confident it will lead to a perfect setup for himself or a teammate.

1. – This Goal.  This single video shows almost all of Doughty’s best attributes, and it doesn’t even include his outstanding defense! Not only is it a highlight reel goal, but it shows that Doughty knows exactly when to be out of position and that he can score when it truly counts; tying up Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Writer: Timmy Sclafani is a Junior Journalism student at Roger Williams University. He is not only passionate about hockey, but also film, biking, and music. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @tsclafani20