In his NHL pre-draft bio, Philadelphia Flyers 2012 first round pick Scott Laughton lists Spiderman as his favorite superhero. Despite the 19-year-old’s skill, his ‘spidey-sense’ might tell him that something dangerous is lurking at September’s training camp.
Laughton could be caught in an inescapable web of depth in his attempt to make the Flyers’ roster. Although the team amnestied Danny Briere, who signed with the Montreal Canadiens, there are still at least three veteran NHL centers in front of the Oshawa General star.
Superstar captain Claude Giroux, talented third-year man Sean Couturier, and free agent veteran Vincent Lecavalier are penciled in as the team’s top three center-men prior to the opening of camp. Barring injuries, that leaves Adam Hall, Nick Cousins, Ben Holstrum and Laughton battling for the fourth center/ extra forward spot, with Max Talbot shifting over to left wing.
Laughton, a talented two-way player, impressed the Flyers enough in last season’s training camp to make the opening night roster. The 6’ 1” left-handed shooting forward remained with the big club for only 5 games, as the orange and black made the decision to return the rookie to his junior team before his entry-level contract would kick in.
He was held pointless in his five NHL games; however he impressed Flyers’ brass by registering 10 shots on goal and 10 hits. He won 43 percent of his face-offs and had an even plus-minus rating during his stay. Upon returning to juniors, Laughton scored 23 goals and added 33 assists in 49 games. Excelling in big games, he tallied 13 points in Oshawa’s 7 playoff contests.
During the off-season, general manager Paul Holmgren expressed optimism that Laughton can stick with the Flyers this year. ‘That wouldn’t surprise me’ Holmgren said. ‘He dominated at his level at times. And that’s encouraging.’
Packing on nearly 20 pounds of muscle with a commitment to intense off-season conditioning, Laughton intends on remaining your friendly, neighborhood Flyer this year.
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