Drew Doughty was drafted five years ago and is only 24 years old, but tonight he’ll be playing in his 400th NHL contest.
“Time has flown by,” Doughty said, as per NHL.com. “It just seems like yesterday I was 18 and I was in my first year in the League. I’ve had so much fun.
“I’ve still got a long, healthy road ahead of me and I’m looking forward to continue it here in L.A.”
Getting to 400 games so quickly was a result of several factors. One, Doughty was taken second overall at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and debuted right away — during the ’08-09 campaign — on a relatively poor Kings team (34-37-11, 5th in Pacific Division), which afforded him the opportunity for big minutes.
At 19, he averaged a team-high 23:50 per game.
Two, Doughty has been remarkably durable. His only notable injuries were a concussion in 2010 that cost him six games and an upper-body injury in 2011 that cost him four. He appeared in all 82 games during his rookie campaign and all 48 during last year’s lockout-shortened season.
Where Doughty’s feat really stands out, though, is amongst his ’08 draft mates. Doughty got to 400 faster than anyone — Steve Stamkos is stuck on 390 (broken tibia) while Luke Schenn is at 388. Josh Bailey and Zach Bogosian are the only other ’08 draftees to have appeared in 300 NHL contests thus far.
But throw in playoff contests, and Doughty is way out in front. He’s appeared in 50 postseason games, putting him at 450 all told.
“It’s crazy,” Doughty said.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced Sunday.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.