The National Hockey League announced the winners of the year-end awards on Tuesday. Adam Fox of the New York Rangers took home the Norris Trophy, a well-deserved honor for the 23-year-old. However, LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was omitted entirely from PWHA voting.
The 31-year-old former Norris Trophy winner had a bounceback year, tallying eight goals and 26 assists while averaging the most time on ice among all NHL defensemen in the 2021 season. The previous two years were a bit of a letdown, especially considering Doughty was fresh into an 11-year contract extension.
The Kings spent the last offseason searching for a defensive partner for Doughty, acquiring Olli Maatta from the Blackhawks in what was effectively a cap dump for Chicago. However, Doughty found the most success paired with 21-year-old Mikey Anderson.
Certainly, Doughty wasn’t going to garner any first or second-place votes in the Norris Trophy voting, but the fact that he didn’t receive any votes is mystifying. A quick comparison:
- Doughty: 8-26-34 (G-A-P) in 56 games
- Brett Pesce: 4-21-25 in 55 games
- Roman Josi: 8-25-33 in 48 games
- Jaccob Slavin: 3-12-15 in 52 games
- Ryan Pulock: 2-15-17 in 56 games
The only two players from non-playoff teams to receive votes were Jacob Chychrun (ARI) and Fox. Doughty deserved some recognition for his bounceback season.