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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
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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
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