Flyers Pleased With Laughton's Debut
The first five games will be the most important for rookie forward Scott Laughton.
The 18-year-old center made his NHL debut in the Flyers' 3-1 loss to the Penguins. For the 12 minutes he was out there, Laughton tried to prove why the Flyers selected him with the 20th pick last year.
Laughton was physical and agressive in his debut.
"I thought he played well," said Flyers alternate captain Scott Hartnell. "He was moving his feet, he was finishing his checks, he’s very sound defensively."
Laughton registered one shot on goal offensively, but played a nice game defensively. He had four hits, and even used his body to block a shot.
Laughton left a good first impression on his head coach.
"I thought he played a strong game. He was responsible defensively and had about four or five good hits," said Laviolette. "He was strong on puck battles and had a couple opportunities at the net. I thought he did a nice job. It’s a tough situation to come into for a young kid, first game in Philadelphia but I thought he handled it very well."
Laughton had to get over a bit of nerves. It's an overwhelming experience for an 18-year-old to debut in front of a large collection of some of the most passionate fans in hockey.
"It was pretty nerve-racking; I’ve never played in front of such a big crowd," Laughton said, who played his last two seasons with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. "It was nice for those fans to come out and just felt pretty good out there and just tried to play my game as best as I could."
Laughton acknowledged that Hartnell tried to help the rookie out with his nerves.
"He just said play my game," Laughton added. "That’s what got me here and just do everything little thing right and the rest should take care of itself."
Hartnell said that Laughton was nervous when he woke up this morning.
"He thought he was a little nervous when he woke up this morning," Hartnell added. "But the first one’s behind ya, and you get to move on and go for the second, make it a better game."
But after Laughton's first shift, he was able to shake his nerves. "I tried to get them out of the way. I tried to take a hit or lay a hit."
After five games, the Flyers will determine if they want to send Laughton back to the juniors or keep him up with the club. Laughton will have four more games to prove his worth.