World stage suits Doughty

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

SARNIA -- Drew Doughty already has a real handle on how international hockey works.

The big 16-year-old Guelph Storm defenceman from London played in the world under-17 championships last December and won gold with Team Canada at the under-18 junior World Cup this past summer. Last night, he suited up for Team OHL against the Russian selects in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge game at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre.

But Doughty wants to earn even more opportunities to study the international game and he wouldn't mind another immediate assignment.

"I'd love an invitation to the Canadian world junior camp (next month) and that's what I'm working for right now," the six-foot, 213-pound blue-liner said. "I don't think you're ever too young. In games like this, you leave it all on the ice, but you can also play a simpler game because you're playing with so many great players."

Doughty has the benefit of playing in Guelph on a tandem with Ryan Parent, who won gold with the Canadian juniors last year and is eligible again this year.

After an impressive rookie season last year, Doughty has 25 points in 25 games this season to rank among the OHL's top blue-liners.

"I'm carrying the puck as much -- if not more -- than I did last year," he said.

Sarnia second-year defenceman Mark Katic has shared Doughty's international experiences, though they have yet to be regular partners on the blue-line. He and his Sting mates who played for Team OHL last night -- Harrison Reed and Ryan Wilson -- stayed with the rest of the players at a Sarnia hotel.

Katic's regular living arrangements are also interesting -- his billets have also taken in rookie sensation Steve Stamkos. But the second overall pick in the 2005 OHL draft doesn't offer many words of wisdom to this year's top selection.

"I don't have to tell him anything -- he's doing fine on his own," the five-foot-11, 185-pounder from South Porcupine said.

"It's nice to see him scoring a lot of goals and it has been a lot of fun to come to the rink this year."

All Katic needs now is a Canadian junior team invite.


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