Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz spoke ahead of his team’s matchup against the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday (the game can be seen on Sportsnet at 10:30 p.m. ET), and gave some kudos to his opponent’s star defenceman.
Drew Doughty leads all Kings defencemen in points while playing 28:23 a night, over five minutes more than anyone else on the team.
“You forget how good Drew Doughty is,” Trotz told LA Kings Insider. “I think he’s got to get some Norris Trophy votes this year. I think he’s been the best defenceman this year in my opinion.
“Now that we’ve seen them more, scouted them a little bit more … just how good he is.”
Trotz, who was named to Team Canada's coaching staff for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, also said he was "pretty excited" about the prospect of working with the 26-year-old blue-liner.
Despite his well-regarded reputation, Doughty has yet to win a Norris Trophy, given annually to the league's best defenceman.
Karlsson won the Norris in 2012 and 2015 and leads all defenceman in points this year with 68 in 68 games.
San Jose's Brent Burns has also entered the conversation. The 31-year-old, who's spent time as a forward in his career, has never finished higher than 12th in Norris voting (back in 2008), but has scored more goals than any other defenceman this year (24), and is not far off Karlsson's point-per-game pace at 60 points in 66 games.