The Philadelphia Flyers have a decision to make with Scott Laughton. The pending free agent wants to stay in Philadelphia, but it may be in Chuck Fletcher’s best interest to trade him. Laughton is a solid two-way forward that can play both center and wing.
Laughton has been in the rumor mill over the past few weeks with things ramping up this weekend. He is reportedly “a target for a couple of teams,” including potentially the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the Maple Leafs filled their need for a forward by trading for Nick Foligno.
Foligno fetched a pretty good return for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets captain was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, along with Stefan Noesen from the San Jose Sharks, for Toronto’s first-pick pick this year and fourth-round pick next year. That’s a pretty hefty haul for Foligno.
Shortly after the trade was made, I had this comparison on Twitter:
Nick Foligno: 45 points in 109 games over last two seasons.
Scott Laughton: 44 points in 87 games over last two seasons.
Get on the phone, Chuck. https://t.co/S1RY2E7aNg
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 11, 2021
With that being said, Foligno and Laughton are different players. Foligno was the captain of the Blue Jackets and Laughton is more of a glue guy and role player. Their production is similar, however. Laughton is getting better with each season as he’s still in his prime at 26 years old. Foligno, 33, hasn’t had more than 35 points in a season since 2016-17.
This season at 5-on-5 play, Laughton has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 38 games. Foligno, on the other hand, has just eight points (five goals, three assists) in 42 games. Over the past two seasons, Laughton has 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 87 games while Foligno has just 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 109 games; both are at 5-on-5 play.
Given the fact that Foligno was traded for a first-round pick (plus), the possibility opens up that the Flyers could get a first-round pick for Laughton. At the very least, a second-round pick could be the main piece in a Laughton deal.
According to Frank Seravalli, the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals were among the teams willing to part with a first-round pick for Foligno. Now, with Foligno off the table, could Colorado or Washington turn to Laughton instead? It’s certainly a possibility
Chuck Fletcher has a decision to make with Scott Laughton. He could try to re-sign the forward on a team-friendly deal to anchor the bottom-nine for the next few years. On the other hand, if a team comes calling with a first-round pick for second-round pick with something to sweeten the deal, Fletcher may pull the trigger to potentially get a key piece of the future –– or he could just use that pick to trade for a defenseman before or at the draft.
Laughton is one of a few pieces that the Flyers could realistically sell. After Sunday afternoon’s late third-period collapse, Chuck Fletcher has no choice but to sell.
Keep an eye on Laughton and the rest of the Flyers prior to Monday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Photo: Heather Barry Images