Flyers Demote Scott Laughton to Lehigh Valley


The Philadelphia Flyers made a surprising move on Saturday when they demoted second line center Scott Laughton to the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The 20 year old center has struggled lately, being held scoreless in Friday night’s loss against Columbus and registering a -1.

The Flyers first pick from the 2012 draft is considered a two-way player, and his offensive game has struggled. They made him their second line center in an attempt to both spark him and the team, which has been so stagnant all season.

Laughton was supposed to spend the season with Lehigh Valley and play consistently in the NHL in 2015-2016. However, on November 19th general manager Ron Hextell decided to recall the center to replace the then-injured Claude Giroux.

He had played in the NHL before, playing in five games as an 18 year old after making the team out of camp in 2012. He hasn’t seen the NHL again after being sent to his junior team.

He’s 6’1 and just 177 pounds, so to succeed in this league, he needs to put on some weight. He’s lost plenty of puck battles, especially lately, and it has affected his offensive game a ton. In his past 15 games all he has produced is an assist.

Laughton was expected to only play until Giroux’s return, but he stuck on the roster for a while. He had 11 points, six of them goals, in the first 13 games of the Phantoms season to be their leading scorer.

When recalled he played on the fourth line, but was moved up to the second line before they decided to demote him to the minor leagues.

Replacing Laughton on the Flyers roster will be Micheal Raffl, who has missed the last seven games with pneumonia.

Overall in his 31 NHL games this season, Laughton had just two goals and six points overall and a -1 rating. On January 14th, Laughton did suffer a concussion and his play has gotten worse since returning from a seven game absence.

The Phantoms are in third place in their division and are tied for eleventh in the conference. They are fighting to get back in the playoff race, and are currently six spots out of the playoffs overall.

Laughton will center the top line on the team and likely play with Andrew Gordon and Tyler Leier.

At 4-6 in their last ten games, the Phantoms could use some extra scoring that Laughton can provide as they make their final push into the Calder Cup playoffs.