Scott Laughton was selected in the first round of the National Hockey League draft by the Philadelphia Flyers last summer. Due to Danny Briere’s wrist injury, it appears as though this impressive 18-year-old is going to be on the team’s opening day roster.
Hardcore fans know that any time a newly-drafted professional hockey player is included in his parent club’s seasonal plans that he’s not a typical young man. But, all orange and black loyalists also know that Laughton’s story is simply a repeat of last season’s Sean Couturier show.
Laughton’s impressive skill and ice demeanor, along with cap-friendly salary numbers, appear to have earned him a temporary shot on Peter Laviolette‘s 2012-13 squad – or should we say 2013 team due to the lockout shortened season? In any case, his five-game trial period could lead to a full-season opportunity, depending upon how he plays and how management feels about his overall performance.
Couturier’s rookie campaign was more than impressive. That sharp two-way center, who was a Flyers’ 2011 first round draft pick (via the Columbus Blue Jackets, through the Jeff Carter trade), also stuck with the team after training camp. He earned his hockey passport after his temporary credentials had expired. Laughton now stands to fill his own regular season center spot between two wingers on the forward lines.
Championship caliber contingents are built through a combination of youthful talent and a smart selection of veterans. Paul Holmgren and his coaching staff must believe that this season’s callow story, in the form of Laughton, might move the organization closer to its enduring postseason goal.