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Kings' Drew Doughty thrilled by Olympic mention

February 14, 2009 |  6:34 pm

Doughty_300When Steve Yzerman, executive director of Canada's Olympic men's hockey team, mentioned Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on Thursday as a potential candidate to wear the maple leaf in the Vancouver Games, no one was more surprised -- or delighted -- than Doughty.

The Kings' precocious rookie said Saturday it was "pretty flattering" to hear that his name had been thrown out there -- especially because it was Yzerman, the former Red Wings standout, doing the talking.

"He was one of my biggest idols growing up and to even be mentioned in that group, it's unbelievable," Doughty said after the Kings' 3-2 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

"There's so many good Canadian defensemen in this league, veteran players, and just to be mentioned is a great honor. It's awesome."

Doughty isn't planning his trip just yet. But if he continues to play as well as he has this season -- he recorded his fourth goal and 16th point Saturday and played a team-high 25 minutes 34 seconds -- he deserves serious consideration because of his youth, mobility and smarts.

"I obviously don't expect that at all. It's such a high-paced tournament, and you need a lot of veterans," he said. "But just to get mentioned is unbelievable and if I do get my chance it would be awesome."

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty handles the puck against the New York Islanders on Tuesday. Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images