Despite missing time due to injury, this season was one of Scott Laughton’s best with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Scott Laughton signed a two-year extension the summer heading into this season. And while he has missed 20-games due to injury, he has been able to show the Flyers they were right in giving him that contract.
It took a while for Laughton to establish himself in the NHL. He had different stints with the team between 2012 and 2016. In total, he appeared in 109 games between those four seasons. The most came during the 2015-16 season where he played in 71 games. He had seven goals and 14 assists that year.
Despite that, the team still felt he wasn’t ready to join the NHL officially. He appeared in two games the following season but spent most of the season in the AHL. It was the following year that he established himself as an NHL player. And he has proven it, again and again, each season.
This year has been one of his best seasons in the league. His 13 goals are a career-high for him. He was just six points away from a new high in points. The team had 13 games remaining so it’s very likely Laughton could’ve broken that mark as well. But he has done this is far fewer games than he has appeared in during the last two seasons.
All of his per-game totals were up, of course, and were the best numbers he had posted. Even though Laughton had fewer assists this season than in previous years, his 0.29 APG was the best of his career. The amount of games plays a role in that, but Laughton was producing when he was playing. His 0.55 PPG shows us that as well.
Laughton was doing well before the league pause. He had nine points over the Flyers’ last eight games.
This was the first season where injury truly followed Laughton. He lost those 20 games due to a fractured finger in late October and a groin issue in mid-December. But he has still been able to prove his versatility to the team. Laughton has moved between the center and left-wing spot on multiple occasions throughout the season. He’s been as low as the fourth line and as high as the second line.
Strong defensive play has been a big part of Laughton’s game. As such, he was a staple on the team’s much-improved penalty kill. His 1:42 per game total is third among Flyers forwards. Only Sean Couturier and Kevin Hayes have more. Laughton has one of the lowest goals-against per 60 minutes of all regular penalty killers (5.2). Robert Hagg has the lowest.
The advanced numbers won’t favor Laughton too kindly. But it is easy to see that he is a big part of this team. He took a huge step forward this season. Injuries slowed him down a bit, but he was still able to produce despite that. Laughton gave the team a boost and may have shown us what we can expect from him going forward.