There are not many players currently on the Philadelphia Flyers who have been with the organization longer than forward Scott Laughton. Over the years, he has grown into a solid leader for the club as one of the older homegrown talents. He might not always be a leader when it comes to scoring, but he has found ways to step up one way or another when the team needed him.
Laughton has gained offensive firepower over the course of the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round. He provided a goal in the first game against the Boston Bruins, before unleashing a three-point night against the Washington Capitals. He is thriving on a line, along with Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny, that has gained quite a bit of attention. Laughton has always been a big contributor in his own way ever since he was brought into the organization eight years ago.
Laughton’s NHL Journey
Laughton was drafted by the Flyers in the late first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, coming off a solid campaign with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). During his first two junior seasons, he posted the following stats:
- 2010-11: 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 63 games
- 2011-12: 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points in 64 games
Laughton suited up for five games with Philadelphia as a tryout during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign but was sent back to Oshawa for more seasoning. He had the best junior season of his career, notching 40 goals and 47 assists for 87 points in 54 games. He then split the 2014-15 campaign between the Flyers and their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
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The 2015-16 season was when Laughton officially established himself as a regular on the roster. He played in 71 games, accruing 21 points (seven goals and 14 assists). Throughout his time in Philadelphia, he never was much of a goal scorer but contributed as a nice complementary piece to the bottom-six forward group.
He has chalked up the following regular-season points while with the Flyers:
- 2012-13: 0 points in 5 games
- 2014-15: 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points in 31 games
- 2015-16: 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 71 games
- 2016-17: 0 points in 2 games
- 2017-18: 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in 81 games
- 2018-19: 12 goals and 20 assists for 32 points in 82 games
- 2019-20: 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points in 49 games
Laughton had his struggles consistently staying a regular in Philadelphia, even after playing most of the 2015-16 campaign. There was the question of what had gone wrong with him in the organization. The 2016-17 season saw Laughton mainly in Lehigh Valley, where he had a great season but only saw two games in the NHL that year.
Fortunately enough, Laughton gained more of an offensive groove the past few seasons, a sign of progress for the 26-year-old. In fact, had this past season not shut down due to COVID-19, Laughton possibly could’ve broken his career highs in goals, assists, and overall points. It took a little while, but Laughton has gotten more of a key role on this Flyers team and he is making it count.
Round Robin Impact
Laughton has cranked it into another gear during the two round-robin games. He tallied a goal to help power the Flyers to their 4-1 victory over Boston. Game 2 against Washington though is when Laughton really broke out statistically.
Laughton broke the scoreless tie with the Capitals in the first period after receiving a slick behind pass from Konecny. Travis did a good job of getting Washington goalie Braden Holtby out of position, leaving Scott with the wide-open net and the eventual 1-0 score.
Laughton followed up the goal by helping set up the second tally. He assisted on the Travis Sanheim goal by getting the puck to linemate Hayes, who maneuvered his way around the ice, and provided a perfect pass to Sanheim who crept in and beat out Holtby.
Laughton ended his night with another goal to complete his stats with a three-point night. The goal showed the chemistry between Laughton and his linemates. Konecny made a good pass to Hayes, who eventually throws it out in front to Laughton, where he banks it home. The Flyers could not have drawn that play up any better. The Orange and Black went on to win by a final score of 3-1.
Overall, as it stands right now, Laughton has three goals and an assist in two round-robin games. The last matchup for Philadelphia this part of the postseason will be taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Laughton will ride into Scotiabank Arena with the rest of his teammates on Saturday, hoping they can lock up the first seed. He will also be looking to continue his playoff scoring streak.