Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton has once again entered trade speculation in recent days. It’s no surprise, given new general manager Daniel Brière’s aggressive approach, already moving on from defender Ivan Provorov before the offseason begins in earnest.
The team is looking for a more significant rebuild/retool than they’ve had in years past, but there are certain targets the team wouldn’t be opposed to holding onto. Laughton, 29, is one of them – he’s been one of the team’s more consistent players over the past few seasons and has taken on a significant leadership role.
All that’s to say, if Philadelphia moves him, it won’t be for a marginal package. The Fourth Period’s Anthony DiMarco reported this morning the Flyers have turned down late first-round picks in exchange for Laughton, who had 43 points in 78 games this season and is locked in at a $3MM cap hit through 2026.
One of the teams who’ve called the Flyers about Laughton is the Ottawa Senators, David Pagnotta said this morning, adding to his colleague’s initial report. The team’s offer likely would’ve centered around their 2024 first-round selection – they’ve already given up this year’s first-round pick (12th overall) to the Arizona Coyotes in a deal for Jakob Chychrun.
Laughton is a natural center, a position the Senators struggled mightily at this season in regard to depth. However, that was instigated by a shoulder injury to Joshua Norris, who missed all but eight games. With he, Tim Stützle, and Shane Pinto locked into the top three center spots long-term, Laughton would likely shift to wing to play in the top nine.
That’s something he can do with ease, and he did so multiple times as a Flyer. His versatility is a valuable asset, though, especially if injuries strike the Senators again. Laughton’s been used quite a bit on the penalty kill in Philadelphia, too, though advanced metrics aren’t kind to his performance with a man down.
One has to question, though – for a team that hasn’t been able to exit their rebuild successfully despite multiple attempts, are the Senators (and general manager Pierre Dorion) in a safe position to give up two first-round selections within months of each other?
You’d likely get a pretty even split of answers to that question. The team undoubtedly has the core to advance to their first postseason since 2017, but depth issues at every position continue to plague them in a tough Atlantic Division. Laughton, a high-end third-line piece, could go a long way toward solving those issues.
If the Flyers do manage to get more than just a late first in return for Laughton, it’ll be a great return on their investment. Drafted 20th overall in 2012, Laughton has given the Flyers over 500 games and nearly 200 points of service over a 10-season career in the organization.