So far our D looks like this....Greene, Johnson, Preissing, Gauthier, and Peter Harrold. That's 5 guys with Harrold and Gauthier being fringe guys. Doughty would make 6 if he makes it but the Kings are also in the market for a vet D would make 7, which is what I think the Kings are shooting for.
If we sign a guys like Hedican, Markov, or trade for a guy he will be in the top 4 forcing Gauthier to the #7 spot unless Doughty disapoints in camp. Then Doughty goes back to juniors, Gauthier becomes a #6 guy and the Kings use a spare part in Manchester as #7.
I don't see that happening though...Doughty will probably make the top 6 and the Kings will sign a left handed vet on D.
Do the Kings expect him to play the majority of his games in the NHL next year?
DL is as meticulous and careful with bringing prospects up as there is and it's not like he's facing pressure from ownership to win now and start rushing prospects up since we're in the middle of an obvious rebuild. So, he won't be rushed.
But the opportunity is there for him to come into camp and if he performs well, he won't be blocked from competing for an opening day start. The hope is definitely for him to play the majority, if not, the entire year in LA.
Doughty is 220 and an awesome skater. theres no reason he cant be thrown into the fire now with how wretched the Kings are going to be. not that they cant be competitive each night but over the long haul it will be tough. it seems they had this planned for a while anyhow with letting all the older guys go (Blake and Visnovsky). he should be learning a lot though on the defensive end with tons of situations. Johnson, Doughty and even Greene will all have plenty of time in the defensive zone to hone their game. Doughty to improve his overall game. hopefully he gets a lot of PP time.
I think its been stated in a variety of places that Doughty has nothing left to learn in juniors. I say the only way he goes back is if he blows up (in a bad way) in his first 5 or 6 games. He's either with us only a few games, or all year.
Here's a question though, would he be eligible to go to Manchester NEXT season if he was with the Kings this season? He'd still be 19?, though I don't know when his b-day is. Unlikely scenario, just curious.