On Sunday the Flyers returned 2012 first round draft pick Scott Laughton to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. With the lockout-shortened season, Laughton was allowed to play in five NHL games before it would officially signal the start of his entry-level contract (ELC). By returning him to Juniors before his sixth game, the Flyers effectively extend his ELC one year, and delay Laughton’s eligibility for restricted free agency.
When faced with the same situation last year, albeit allowing 10 games instead of 5, the Flyers opted to keep the, then, 18 year old Sean Couturier. However, in addition to being a more celebrated Junior player, Couturier was playing a larger role with the Flyers, both in terms of time-on-ice and short-handed time-on-ice.
In five games with the Flyers, Laughton averaged over 11 minutes of ice time a night, registering 0 goals and 0 assists, but providing solid defensive play and proving to be a force on the forecheck. Laughton was second among forwards on the team with 10 hits.
With Danny Briere returning from injury, Mike Knuble being recently signed, Tye McGinn having a strong showing, and Zac Rinaldo nearing his own return from injury, the Flyers may have deemed they had more than enough able bodies to shoulder the load. Both Ruslan Fedetenko and Max Talbot are capable of playing center, although they are typically better on the wing.
Laughton will rejoin his OHL team as their fourth leading scorer with 33 points in 32 games.