“Laughty’s a guy who’s f—ing everywhere,” Hayes said. “It’s fun to see.”
It’s gotten even better.
At 28 years old, Laughton, who has more than paid his dues, is turning into an all-situation threat for the Flyers. And he’s doing so with the pressure of being the only Flyer to wear a letter on his jersey.
Entering this season, the first of the Flyers’ John Tortorella era, Laughton had never been a power play guy in the NHL. He had always looked up to Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier as leaders.
He is no longer a role player, no longer an impressionable young player just trying to fit in.
After having no power play goals in parts of nine seasons, Laughton has five man advantage markers through 47 games this season. He has also thrived on the Flyers’ aggressive penalty kill, leading the NHL in shorthanded points with seven (three goals, four assists).
Laughton and his teammate Travis Konecny are the only two NHL players with five or more points at even strength, on the power play and at shorthanded. Konecny is killing penalties for the first time in his NHL career, which has helped spur his scoring resurgence.
For Laughton, he has taken advantage of his power play opportunity. He’s playing a career-high 18:48 minutes per game. With 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists), he’s on pace to blow past his career highs in all major categories.
When did Tortorella envision Laughton being an all-situation player?
“When I started putting him in it, he succeeded,” Tortorella said Jan. 22. “He makes big plays. Game in and game out, he makes big plays. Makes big mistakes, but makes another big play after. That’s just what he is in all facets of the game.”
When players near their 30s, they either plateau or show another level. Laughton has shown another level. If and when the Flyers turn into a playoff team again, Laughton wants to be a key ingredient.
He has definitely played like it.
“I obviously want to win here, it’s a special place to me,” Laughton said in December. “I want to be a part of something that you can be proud of and our city can be proud of.”
Subscribe to and rate Flyers Talk