Philadelphia Flyers: 4 players who’ve made “the leap” this year

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Flyers, Scott Laughton
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Scott Laughton

It’s hard to remember now, but it wasn’t too long ago that Scott Laughton’s future with the Flyers (and maybe the NHL entirely) seemed in doubt. He was a former first-round pick who just couldn’t seem to find the right spot in the lineup, and few could have imagined that things would end well for him.

But Laughton slowly turned himself into a useful fourth-line player, as last season’s 12-goal, 32-point performance served as a mini breakout of sorts. This year, Laughton has built upon that moderate success in a big way. Two injuries earlier this season will limit his games played total for the year, but he’s been outstanding when healthy.

In fact, Laughton is seeing more and more time on scoring lines these days, as he’s made an effective move from hanger-on to good fourth-liner to solid middle-six forward. He also signed a new contract before this season, and the Flyers are once again looking smart.

Honorable Mention: Sean Couturier has simply taken his game to another level. He’s not likely to hit the 30-goal or 76-point marks like he has in the last two seasons, but he’s now surpassed Claude Giroux as the team’s best player. No offense to the captain, but Coots does it all.