Few hockey players accomplish what Drew Doughty has in their entire careers, yet the two-time Stanley Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist is just 24 years old.
(Let that sink in for a minute, even if it stings for just about everyone who feels like an underachiever right now …)
Much like Anze Kopitar, Doughty hasn’t won a Conn Smythe in the Los Angeles Kings’ two Cup runs, yet you could make a strong argument for his work in each title victory. At this point, it seems like the individual honors will come rolling along with the medals and rings.
For Kings fans, this might be just the beginning; GM Dean Lombardi told LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen that the best is yet to come.
“I mean, he’s only going to get better. He’s not done,” Lombardi said. “He’s 24 years old. Ray Bourque didn’t hit his prime ‘til 27.”
/Cuts to the rest of the NHL’s GMs hyperventilating.
Of course, with two championships in three seasons (and also a Western Conference finals run in 2013), there’s the question of whether or not the Kings will rest on their laurels. Lombardi says that’s unlikely.
On paper, this Kings team could very well vie for the Stanley Cup for the foreseeable future. Slava Voynov has room for improvement at 24 himself. Dustin Brown (29), Anze Kopitar (26) and Jeff Carter (29) are still under 30 while Los Angeles enjoyed breakthrough performances from Tyler Toffoli, 22 and Tanner Pearson, 21. Jonathan Quick is a two-time Cup-winner at 28.
In other words, the NHL must deal with the frightening possibility that this Kings team will only become better for the next few years (if not longer). Yikes.