Today is Flyers forward Scott Laughton’s 29th birthday. Bringing home the gold medal from the World Championships is a pretty fine birthday present, if you can swing it.
Laughton put the finishing touch on Canada’s two most important games of the championships. He scored empty-net goals in the semifinal win over Latvia, and in the championship game victory over Germany.
He had three goals, five assists and was a plus-7 in 10 tournament games. Laughton skated a regular shift, was on the penalty-kill, played the tough minutes and took many crucial faceoffs.
Laughton was one of Canada’s alternate captains, the same title he holds for the Flyers. He previously was captain of Canada’s 2014 Junior team. Clearly, Laughton possesses leadership skills, something vital for a rebuilding team.
Laughton just had his finest season for the Flyers. He scored 18 goals and 25 assists for 43 points — career highs in each category. He played in 78 games. He tied Travis Konecny for the team lead with three shorthanded goals.
He was second on the team in winning faceoffs at 47.2 percent, behind Kevin Hayes at 49.4 percent. He had been better than 50 percent in five of the last six seasons. He also was the Flyers’ nominee for the NHL’s King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
The King Clancy award goes to “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community,” according to a release from the NHL.
Laughton has fashioned a fine career in Philadelphia. He was the 20th overall pick in 2012. He’s played 519 games with the Flyers. He has 82 goals and 117 assists for 199 points. He is a minus-16 over the 10 years.
He is a tenacious defender, often on the ice against opponents’ top lines.
“He leaves it on the ice all the time,” coach John Tortorella said during the season.
“We depend on him. He has helped us on faceoffs. Does he make mistakes? Yeah, but I’m going to go with him.”
The Flyers went without a captain last season. Tortorella indicated last season he would not name a captain this season.
Laughton wore the “A” last season. There is talk that if Sean Couturier returns from injury next season, he would be a candidate for the captaincy. Some have mentioned Cam Atkinson, too.
You have to figure Laughton is a serious candidate to be named the Flyers’ 19th captain. That would make another sweet birthday present.
Flyers, In Case You Missed It:
Flyers shouldn’t trade goalie Carter Hart, their most important asset.
No reason for Flyers to sign Montreal’s Cole Caufield to offer sheet.
Around The National Hockey Network:
Vegas Hockey Now: Golden Knights score three goals in first 14 minutes to crush the Stars and advance to Stanley Cup finals.
Florida Hockey Now: Panthers are OK with plenty of rest before Stanley Cup finals.
Montreal Hockey Now: Canadiens have decision to make about goalie Samuel Montembeault, who just won a gold medal for Canada at World Championships.
Detroit Hockey Now: When Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman goes shopping for a goalie this offseason, he will find a thin market.
Boston Hockey Now: Former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy leads Vegas to Cup finals.
Los Angeles Hockey Now: Check out the Kings’ top 10 prospects.