It's good to be the King

With hockey's best young blueliner in decades, Cup hopes are high in Tinseltown

Originally Published: October 25, 2010
By Lindsay Berra | ESPN The Magazine

Drew Doughty doesn't look so special. In fact, on this late summer morning in London, Ontario, he's struggling. Doughty is midway through a pull-up, No. 5 if you're counting, and his arms are shaking, his face is twisted, and all upward progress has come to a halt. His trainer, Jeff Van Damme, presses his hands to Doughty's back and helps him raise his chin to the bar for 5, 6, 7 and 8, the number he must hit to pass the Kings' fitness test. Yes, Doughty is still three weeks and 2,200 miles from training camp. But time and distance likely will not change this truth: In the gym, Doughty has always been remarkably average. On ice, though, the 20-year-old workout bluff is the best defenseman to hit the NHL in two decades.