LA Kings: Here’s where Drew Doughty ranks among fantasy defenseman

Coming off two disappointing seasons with the LA Kings, NHL ranked Drew Doughty as the 24th best fantasy defenseman.

To say that Drew Doughty’s last two years with the LA Kings have been a disappointment would be a massive understatement. Of course, much of that has been the result of the Kings’ front office trading away valuable players, including Doughty’s best pairing in Jake Muzzin.

In 2017-2018, the former second overall pick in 2008 tallied 10 goals with 50 assists while finishing second in Norris Trophy voting. The following year, Doughty recorded a career-worst -34 rating while scoring just 8 goals. Paired with Ben Hutton this past season, he scored only 7 goals in a COVID-shortened season.

And NHL.com has properly reflected his stats in their defensive fantasy rankings. The almost 31-year-old was ranked as the 24th best blueliner in terms of fantasy hockey leagues. And to no surprise, guys like Victor Hedman, John Carlson, and Cale Makar are atop the rankings.

But Doughty is hoping that the Kings’ recent acquisition of Olli Maatta propels the former Norris Trophy winner back into the top ten fantasy rankings. Maatta has primarily played on the second and third lines for the Penguins and Blackhawks over the last couple of seasons. He had a strong postseason, tallying 3 goals and 3 assists.

But Maatta is no stranger to first pairing time. He spent a good chunk of time paired with Kris Letang and Matt Niskanen in his first two years in the league, scoring a combined 10 goals with 28 assists in 98 games.

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He can positively impact Doughty and vice versa, all while playing big-time minutes for the LA Kings. Doughty has seven years remaining on his contract, and he’ll come at an $11M cap hit per season.