Drew Doughty played on a world junior championship team with Canada in 2008, a gold medal-winning club in the 2010 Olympics and a Stanley Cup winner with the Kings in 2012. He also was a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in 2010.

Is he ready for a new role as mentor to the Kings' Kiddie Korps on the blue line?

"No, I don't think so," Doughty said in mock horror Friday.

Although he's only 23, Doughty has the accomplished resume of an older defenseman.

Coach Darryl Sutter, careful to avoid placing too heavy of a burden on Doughty's still-youthful shoulders, mixed his defense pairs in the wake of injuries to veterans Matt Greene (back) and Willie Mitchell (knee). Doughty started playing with Keaton Ellerby last week.

Ellerby, acquired recently from the Florida Panthers, is actually a year older than Doughty. There's no comparing their work experience, however.

Ellerby had played only regular-season 116 games going into this season; Doughty had played in 316 games.

It's a far different pairing than when Doughty was playing alongside Rob Scuderi, 34.