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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 / 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 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 50 17 41 11 58
C. Giroux 49 16 36 7 52
M. Streit 50 7 28 0 35
W. Simmonds 50 18 13 -4 31
B. Schenn 50 11 20 -2 31
S. Couturier 50 11 12 0 23
M. Read 50 3 15 -8 18
M. Del Zotto 38 4 12 -6 16
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
V. Lecavalier 36 7 7 -9 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 10 12 6 .922 2.40
R. Emery 8 9 1 .887 3.38
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