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Greenberg: Laughton Patiently Eager

20-year old forward knows his time will come; looks forward to fine-tuning his game

Friday, 07.18.2014 / 9:40 AM ET / News
By Jay Greenberg  - philadelphiaflyers.com
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Greenberg: Laughton Patiently Eager
20-year old forward knows his time will come and looks forward to fine-tuning his game
MORE ON SCOTT LAUGHTON












The Flyers can’t find much fault with Scott Laughton.

They can’t yet find room for him either, which compliments the organization’s depth at center as greatly as members of the organization compliment the next good one they have coming.

“Scotty is a versatile guy,” says Chris Pryor, the Director of Scouting, during Player Development Camp. “He made an impression on us early on because of his play without the puck, the biggest part of the game prospects have to learn, and this year he complimented his game offensively.

“He is a solid two-way center. I don’t know if he is any more one than the other. He can distribute the puck and shoot it and plays the game the right way, competitively from the goal-line out.

“All those attributes in one player are hard to find.”

FLASHBACK: LAUGHTON'S DRAFT
WATCH: LAUGHTON GETS DRAFTED AT #20
WATCH: LAUGHTON'S FIRST FLYERS INTERVIEW

They almost are as hard to find as a potential spot of Laughton on the 2014-15 Flyers, who have a Hart Trophy finalist in Claude Giroux and two developing fourth-year centers in Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn.

Even if Vinny Lecavalier is moved, GM Ron Hextall is not going to make a fourth-line player out of the 20th player taken in a draft. Neither will Laughton break into the NHL at wing, a position he never has played. So it is going to take injuries, not just a big exhibition season from Laughton, to put him on the roster in October.

“I know he is going to come to camp trying to make this team,” said Pryor. “A lot of guys have that attitude but at the end of the day patience is a virtue.

The only rush would be to judgment that Couturier, the eighth player taken in the 2011 draft, is not going to become a 50-60 point a year player, or Schenn, the fourth player taken in the 2009 draft, is not going to increase his compete level as the Flyer throw more responsibility at him. The Flyers have too much invested in both players to make that call just so they can push ahead another prospect who has to prove he is better than the previous two.

Laughton returned to Oshawa last year to be a point-a-game player, plus captained Canada’s World Junior tournament entry at a point-a-game clip, too, impressive preliminary evidence that the Flyers have made another successful mid-to-late first round pick. But with Hextall taking the GM’s job with a declaration that the Flyers will not eat their young, Laughton is going to first get an opportunity to be the Phantoms best player.

He says he blew an opportunity a year ago with a disappointing camp, that he has a chip on his shoulder this time, and that he will play the wing or sweep the floors to be a Flyer opening night. You wouldn’t want him to be saying anything less, but practically in the next breath, Laughton also makes clear he understands this is a process.

“I got sent back to junior this year and took it pretty well,” Laughton said. “I just turned 20 and am trying to get better every day.

“I want to be in the league 15 years from now, not play in it at 20 and be out of it soon. Hopefully I can make a roster spot. But it I can’t, I will try to move forward.”

Just because the elevator seems to go all the way up on this kid is no reason to skip a floor.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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