Today ExtraSkater.com laid out a new feature. In preparation for the draft on Friday, they have included a myriad of stats from the various Canadian junior leagues (OHL, WHL, QMJHL). To a hockey blogger, this new addition is much appreciated and helpful.
While the talk surrounding this new information is primarily in regards to the 2014 draft eligible prospects, information can also be found on older Flyers prospects such as Scott Laughton, Taylor Leier, and Samuel Morin.
Unfortunately, the new numbers should make Flyers fans even more skeptical about Scott Laughton’s offensive potential in the NHL.
Scott Laughton had 87 points (40G, 47A) in 54 OHL games last season. That is 1.61 points per game and is impressive. Of course, as a 19 year old player in a league filled with 16-18 year old kids, Laughton was expected to dominate. His large age difference made some people hesitant to anoint him as a future star. What the new ExtraSkater stats reveal is a stunning lack of 5v5 production from Laughton.
Take a look at the stats from the listed OHL players:
http://www.extraskater.com/ohl/players?sort=points_all (Laughton is #16)
Of Laughton’s 87 points this past season only 35 of them came at even strength. That is less than half of his total production! In fact, Laughton was on the ice for 83.3% of the Oshawa Generals power play time. So while he may have played big minutes and racked up the points, we must keep in mind that he was not playing tough minutes. A large proportion of his ice time was spent with an extra teammate on the ice.
Yes, the Generals scoring 44 goals, and only allowing 34 goals, during Laughton’s even strength ice time is a positive thing (a 56% goals for ratio). However, Laughton’s ratio is the third lowest among the top 20 OHL scorers.
Laughton is still projected to be a good defensive center. However, the hype that his 87 point season has generated may be a bit premature. The fact that a majority of Laughton’s points came while his team had an extra player on the ice should be a warning sign to Flyers fans. Yes, the kid still has potential, but it may be time to temper some offensive expectations.