Laughton hoping for a longer look from Flyers

Posted: July 11, 2013

SCOTT LAUGHTON earned a taste of Philadelphia hockey last season. This year, he's hoping for more than just a taste.

After being selected 20th overall in the 2012 draft, Laughton made enough of an impression in training camp that he played five games with the Flyers at the beginning of the season. However, the Flyers returned him to his junior team, the Oshawa Generals, before he played a sixth game and burned a year on his entry-level contract.

Now, at 19, the 6-1, 194-pound center believes he is ready for his second stint with the professional club. This week at the Flyers' development camp in Voorhees, Laughton is beginning the offseason by focusing on his offense.

"I'm just trying to work on my offensive game all of the time. I think my defensive game kind of speaks for itself," Laughton said. "I think just developing those little skills is big, and this camp really helps to develop those skills. I feel really confident right now in my game."

In 49 games with Oshawa last season, the lefthanded-shooting Laughton scored 23 goals and added 33 assists.

He also had a goal and two assists in six games with the AHL Phantoms after a scoreless five-game period with the Flyers.

One speed bump in the advancement of Laughton's career in Philadelphia is the signing of free-agent center Vincent Lecavalier. The 33-year-old spent his 14-season career with Tampa Bay, where he scored 383 goals and added 491 assists. He is expected to be a key member of the offense this season, and there has been some talk about him playing right wing.

"No, no," Laughton said with a smile when asked if he would be happy about Lecavalier playing right wing. "I guess that's good for the team, but anything can happen. I'm just trying to work on my own game and that is what I'm focusing on. I'm coming into camp ready and in tip-top shape and just trying to be ready for whatever happens."

In 176 games in Oshawa over the course of three seasons, Laughton notched 56 goals and 76 assists. While he has thrived offensively in junior hockey, many in the Flyers' organization are curious to see whether those numbers can translate into the NHL.

"I hope so. I am working toward it every summer and I'm just trying to work on my offensive ability without taking away from my defensive skill," Laughton said. "I believe I can do it in the NHL, but only time will tell."

For the remainder of the offseason, Laughton will focus on increasing his strength to boost his offensive game. In addition to hiring a new trainer, he will continue to work with the same skating coach in Canada that he has been with for more than 4 years. He hopes it all will pay off when the Flyers select their roster.

"I am just trying to contribute wherever I can," Laughton said. "If I go back to junior league, then I will try to be a leader and hopefully a captain there. If not, hopefully I can come up to Philadelphia and play whatever minutes I need to, even if it's on the penalty kill or whatever it is; I just want to play."

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