A long time ago, in a draft room far, far away. . . Paul Holmgren and his merry band of scouts had themselves a day to remember.
At the 2012 NHL draft, the Flyers brass pulled together one of their most exciting draft classes to date. With a haul that included goalie Anthony Stolarz (45th overall), blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere (78th overall), and forward Taylor Leier (117th overall), the fans in Philadelphia had plenty to be excited about. At the time though, the most polarizing addition was undoubtedly centerman Scott Laughton.
The young, speedy Laughton had spent the previous three season with the Oshawa Generals. In his time there, he progressed steadily, improving his point totals with each passing season. Even with Olli Maatta still improbably, being left on the board, many were excited about Laughton’s potential.
Fast forward to present day and the Flyers’ pipeline has grown exponentially. Since then, each area of the prospect pool was bolstered and with that, Laughton’s value to the franchise has fallen. He has managed only 27 points in 109 games and has fallen very short of his initial projection as an NHL second line center. Laughton’s best chance to prove himself was during the 2015-16 season. That year, he logged 71 games played and a disappointing 21 points.
Last year, Laughts had himself a decent year down in the AHL but only saw NHL action twice. Faith seems to be dwindling in him, not only with the Philadelphia fan base, but also with the Flyers’ higher-ups. The team signed the centerman to a 2-year extension this year, without a doubt a huge prove-it deal. The time is now or never for our still promising 20th overall pick.
In my opinion, we have one open spot in our forward corps:
Weal – Giroux – Voracek
Lindblom – Patrick – Simmonds
Konecny – Couturier – Weise
Raffl – Filppula – ?!?
(More on the PSN team’s line predictions here:
Will Laughton find himself with the opportunity to claim that last roster spot? Will he be trapped in the AHL for the rest of his career? With plenty or opposition from the likes of Mike Vecchione, Jori Lehtera, and his fellow Phantom’s teammates, what is to come of Laughton’s future? Sound off in the comments below.
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Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports