Scott Laughton

After jumping 30 spots in the most recent International Scouting Service report, the 2012 MLHS Draft Profiles turns its watchful eye to Oshawa Generals centerman and Jack-of-all-trades, Scott Laughton.

There’s a lot to like about Scott Laughton, who recorded 21 goals, 32 assists and 101 PIM in 64 games, skating mostly on a line with Christian Thomas (40th overall in 2010 by NYR) and Andy Andreoff (80th overall in 2011 by LAK).  After starting the year slowly, Scott Laughton has developed into a reliable two-way force in the ‘Shwa.

What Scott Laughton has that should separate him from the pack is will.  Simply put, the guy works hard each night and was relied upon as a special teams cog over older, more established players on the Generals roster. He initiates contact, and is dogged in his pursuit of the puck.  And despite a relatively average frame (6-foot-1, 178 pounds), he’s a willing pugilist.  He might want to rein-in that last element of his game for future success, as his any-situation utility is moot while he’s in the sin bin.

Currently ranked 20th by ISS and as the 28th North American Skater by Central Scouting, there’s some confusion to where the Oakville-born pivot will go.  Critics will point to his lack of size and modest offensive numbers in his draft year as the main reason for why he could fall on draft day.

However, the pedigree is there.  Scott Laughton was selected 3rd overall by Oshawa behind Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gaunce in the 2010 OHL Priority Draft after dominating the GTHL with the famous Toronto Marlboros AAA club.  There he served as team captain and led his club with 55 goals and 95 points in 76 games. And with several players set to graduate from the Generals’ system, he’ll get every chance to develop the offensive talent and leadership skills that saw him selected so high.

Also working Scott Laughton’s favour is his growing National team resume.  He played at the Under-17s for Canada-Ontario, and for Canada at both the Ivan Hlinka tournament in 2011 and the recently concluded Under-18 World Championships.  He scored the game-winner in the Ivan Hlinka against Sweden to capture a gold medal, and set up the game winning overtime goal to help Canada capture Bronze at the U-18s.  It was Canada’s first medal in four years at the U-18s, and Laughton excelled playing first team minutes on both the PK and PP, and finished the tournament fourth in team scoring with two goals and five assists through seven games.

For the sake of comparison it seems likely that Scott Laughton will fall somewhere in between a Mike Zigomanis-type and a Jarret Stoll-type centerman.  He plays a determined, physical and dependable game while remaining valuable in all situations, and can chip in offensively often enough to be a threat.

With the Maple Leafs set to draft in the top-5 of the first two rounds, don’t be surprised to see GM Brian Burke spend the Leafs second-round pick on him.