2022-23 Flyers Player Profile: Scott Laughton

Mar 1, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton (21) chases after lthe puck against Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton (21) chases after lthe puck against Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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In 2012, the Flyers had the 20th overall pick in the draft. They could’ve picked defensemen Ollie Maata or Brady Skjei. They could’ve selected winger Tanner Pearson. They chose center Scott Laughton.

Laughton is one of those guys that every team needs to have. He’s a great third line center and is a great asset on the penalty kill. He’s a great teammate. He is always hustling and putting his all into every play. He battles in the corners and helps to frustrate other team’s top scorers. Laughton is a great leader for the young players who come up to play on the third and fourth lines. And yet….

Laughton just finished up his first year of a five year extension. He is making $3 million a season on a cash strapped team. He has never scored more than 15 goals in a season and has reached the 30 point mark once, in 2018-19, before this past season. He has never been a major scoring presence, which is troubling considering he used to light the lamp at the AHL and junior levels. As a first round pick, he’s been kind of disappointing.

As a player, however, he has been invaluable. While he doesn’t impress on the stat sheet, his leadership skills are not questioned. This is especially true since when he has been a third and four line center, his linemates are always changing. During his best season in  2018-19, he was paired, usually, with some combination of Taylor Leier, Michael Raffl, or Jordan Weal. Who are three players who are no longer on the Flyers. He has been a source of consistency and stability.

Another valuable thing about Laughton is his health. He has had a few minor injuries here and there in his nine year career. It wasn’t until this year that he suffered a major injury with a concussion and had to miss considerable time.

Last year,  in 67 games, he scored 11 goals with 19 assists. He was well on his way to establishing career highs in goals, assists, and points when he was shut down due to the concussion. Part of his success was the fact that the Flyers kept losing people to injuries and he had to spend some time on the top two lines.

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So, maybe his stats aren’t bad because he is bad. Maybe his stats have been low because his coaches have yet to pair him up with people who can help him becoming a major scoring threat.

Either way, a healthy Laughton will be key going forward. He may be paid a little higher than his stats deserve, but he brings more intangibles to the table. He is also one of the forwards that I can see will really click under John Tortorella’s scheme. I can see him having a career year and thriving this season. If anything, his presence will be a welcomed site after seeing so many other forwards on this team go down last year.