2007-08: This was Taylor Doherty’s first season as an OHL blueliner. In 64 games with Kingston, he racked up six goals and 14 assists for a total of 20 points. However, he made his presence known in other ways, recording a total of 118 PIM during the season.
2008-09: In his sophomore season with the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL), Doherty’s numbers haven’t improved much from last season. In 68 games with the club, the towering defenseman put up 20 points (2g+18a) while compiling 140 PIM. He played in the 2009 CHL Top Prospects Game.
2009-10: Could and should be considered a break out season for towering defenseman Taylor Doherty. Doherty doubled his point production for the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL), notching 44 points, including 16 goals which doubled his goal totals in his first two seasons combined. Doherty also played a more disciplined game, lowering his PIM totals to 114. Doherty was beastly for the Frontenacs during their short playoff run, scoring at a point-per-game pace through 5 playoff games.
2010-11: Doherty made his pro debut in three late season games with the Worcester Sharks after captaining the Kingston Frontenacs in his fourth OHL season. He was scoreless and -1 with Worcester. In 68 regular season games with Kingston, Doherty logged loads of ice time and scored 14 goals with 39 assists. He finished the season -19 with 86 PMs. Kingston won just 29 games but reached the playoffs after finishing third in the East Division. In the five game series with Oshawa, Doherty was -3 with 3 assists and 12 PMs.
2011-12: Doherty played with the Sharks’ AHL affiliate in Worcester and, after having an excellent final season at the junior level, the big defender had the struggles many 20-year-olds have in their first season in pro hockey. He was caught out of position all over the ice at times while being late to react to the play. The rookie defenseman had 6 assists and was plus-two rating while taking 76 PIMs (four fighting majors) in 63 AHL games. Worcester missed the AHL playoffs after finishing last in the Atlantic Division.
2012-13: A pair of injuries – including an Achilles injury in mid-season that kept him out 15 games – limited Doherty to 40 games with San Jose’s AHL affiliate in Worcester in his second pro season. He scored 1 goal with 9 assists and was -2 with 67 penalty minutes. Worcester missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division.
There are always skating issues for tall players but even more for defensemen, as the speed of game increases Doherty has trouble with his skating. The big man has problems pivoting both ways, poor balance and lacks the speed to be a top-two defenseman at the NHL level at this time. The big blueliner will need to work heavily on his skating and physicality but it will still takes two to three years at the AHL level to hopefully see improvement if he's going to develop into an NHL caliber defenseman. His projection is more likely to be a big, physical shutdown defenseman with some offense if he makes the NHL.
Doherty might get an invitation to the Sharks main camp this year, but more as a tool for development rather than actually desiring his services at this time. He will likely be assigned back to Worcester where he will look to carry on his improving play from last season. The towering defenseman is considered a long term project but still projects as an NHL caliber shutdown defenseman.