Laughton hoping experience pays off

Posted: July 17, 2014

SCOTT LAUGHTON was stuck on the boards, scrambling and looking for a way out.

The 2012 first-round draft pick was being defended in a one-on-one situation by 2013 first-rounder Sam Morin. The 6-7 bruiser had already smashed Radel Fazleev against the glass and checked Nick Cousins to the ice but he couldn't trap Laughton for the boom shot.

Laughton twisted his skates and did a half-spin that left Morin sliding on the ice. He whipped a puck to the open man who slapped it for a goal past Merrick Madsen.

The 20-year-old Laughton is one of the more experienced players on the Flyers development camp roster this summer and he's looking to make an impact as a pro. But Morin, 19, who continued bodying skaters with crushing checks, was a little upset he couldn't stop Laughton.

"I want to win all my one-on-one battles, it's my strength," Morin said following practice. "Laughton's a good player, but I want to try to crush him too. For sure."

The 6-1 Laughton played 54 games last season with the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League. He scored 40 goals and dished 47 assists while totaling 87 points in the 2013-14 campaign.

The Oakville, Ontario native also appeared in nine playoff games, tallying four goals and seven assists for the Generals. Laughton played five games for the Flyers in the 2012-13 season and six games the same year for the Adirondack Phantoms.

But Laughton is looking to make a name for himself this year in camp. Whether it's the NHL or the minors, he said he's looking to become a dependable asset.

"It's my first year pro, I just want to be a reliable player," Laughton said. "I want to play well in all three zones and make an impact wherever I am. I think I'm a leader wherever I go and I'm going to try and do that wherever I go next year. Either it's the Phantoms or the Flyers and I'm just going to keep my head down and go to work."

Laughton said he is planning to move to the area in August for the start of minicamp and is trying to immerse himself within the team before he fully makes the jump as a pro.

He said he remembers being like this year's first-round pick, Travis Sanheim, and others who are going into their first seasons after being drafted. He's trying to be a leader in the locker room and help them along the way.

"My first year I was pretty nervous," Laughton said. "I didn't know many people and didn't know what to expect. I was new coming into it and didn't know what was going to happen. My second year was kind of the same as this year where I know what's going on and I'm trying to help guys like [Sanheim], who got drafted in the first round and these guys are going through the same thing as me playing junior hockey . . . I'm trying to help them out."

While what Laughton is doing is good, Flyers coach Craig Berube has a different approach. He said he's not "here to evaluate" the players but to "teach them things," specifically referring to training and proper nutrition.

Berube said he learned a bit from Chip Kelly and the Eagles organization about nutrition when he recently visited their camp. The Flyers are doing yoga and they hired a nutritionist to take the team shopping for the appropriate foods.

Camp isn't how it used to be when Berube would suit up. As he puts it, there aren't as many fights.

"I fought three times already in the first scrimmage," Berube laughed as he talked to media following the practice. "We don't do that anymore now. But that was the gist of my camp."

On Twitter: @TylerRickyTynes

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