The Philadelphia Flyers have agreed to terms on a new deal with an important albeit under-performing depth piece, inking young forward Scott Laughton to a two-year, one-way extension. According to Flyers beat writer Dave Isaac, the contract pays Laughton $875K for 2017-18 and $1.05MM for 2018-19. That comes out to a cap hit of $962.5 for the length of the deal.
Laughton, 23, has been somewhat of an enigmatic player for the Flyers since being drafted 20th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. Laughton has played in 109 NHL games in his four pro seasons, but skated in just two NHL games last season. Unlike the progression of most young players, Laughton’s role and production increased in the first three years of his career, culminating in a career-best 71 games and 21 points in 2015-16, and then he lost his roster spot entirely last season. Laughton seemed to be developing into a stable bottom six center, but coach Dave Hakstol and the Flyers seemed to quit on him last year. Yet, he has signed a two-year deal that is one-way no less and appears to have his job back.
Even when he was a regular for the Flyers, Laughton was still only given a modest 11 minutes of ice time on average. When sent down to the AHL, Laughton scored at a greater clip, but still nothing overly impressive or anywhere near his junior totals. It’s clear that Laughton is far from the first-round caliber player the Flyers though he was, at least at this point in time. Yet, GM Ron Hextall and company must have a plan for the young center; one that allows him to get NHL ice time and experience while playing in a lineup that has also added well-rounded veteran centers Valtteri Filppula and Jori Lehtera in recent months. Where Laughton thrives is in the two-way checking game and on the penalty kill. If this new contract is going to work out for either side, it seems Laughton will have to embrace his best attributes and dominate as a fourth-line skater and short-hand specialist, or else he could be facing waivers.