Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 06/20/08 at 01:12 PM ET
Guest writer Erin Nicks is covering the NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa for Kukla’s Korner this weekend.
By Erin Nicks
Blue-chip defenceman Drew Doughty wants to jump immediately into the NHL with both feet—and many think he’s capable of doing so. After a conversation with him yesterday, you get a pretty clear idea of where he’s hoping to land.
On the anticipation: “I’m so anxious for it to happen. All the talk is quite overwhelming, but I just can’t wait.”
On immediately stepping into the NHL: “I think I can do it. I’ve proved so much in my last three years (at Guelph) and I’ve worked really hard this summer to get into better shape. I think if I continue my conditioning, and get the chance to play in a few exhibition games next year with the team that drafts me, I think I can make the step to the NHL.”
On his conditioning: “I’m very happy with the way it’s gone. I’ve lost about 20 lbs. or so. I’ve worked very hard and kept to a strict diet. It’s made faster on the ice and I feel stronger.”
On the idea of playing for Los Angeles: “It matters, but it doesn’t (matter) at the same time. I’d really like to go to L.A.—they have been my favourite team all along. But if for some reason I don’t go (to the Kings), I’ll be happy to join any team that chooses me, and I’m going to do whatever I need to in order to make that team.”
On the idea of L.A. providing more of a “low key” environment for NHL players: “I think it’s great. There’s other places like Toronto where there’s a lot of attention and the fans give you a lot of pressure – but the main reason why I want to go to L.A. is because I love their team and the organization.”
*more on Drew Doughty
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