Last season, Drew Doughty and Zach Bogosian were in a heated battle to go No. 2 at the draft behind Steven Stamkos. Doughty, who was a Kings fan growing up and who always had posters of Wayne Gretzky on his wall, may have been a little heavy – and, arguably, sluggish – prior to the combine.
The Los Angeles Kings, who were in possession of the second overall selection, were still torn between the two prospects prior to combine day. So, in preparation for these exercises, the Kings challenged Doughty on a number of fronts to see how he would respond. When the team suggested he needed to be in better physical shape for a top-flight prospect and should prepare himself as such, Doughty took up the call and went above and beyond, dropping approximately 20 pounds before the testing.
Sometimes answering those challenges will do more for a player’s stock than anything he does at the combine.
“We challenged him about his physical conditioning and how important the combine was for him and he answered the bell,” explained a Kings scout. “It made the decision a hell of a lot easier for us, because you’re talking about two phenomenal hockey players and two completely different hockey players and Drew answered the bell on every challenge laid out for him in the process with flying colors. If he wanted any chance of being a King he had to be in better shape. To his credit he did an amazing job.”
And the rest is a bit of history that will continue to play out for the next 20 years.