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Panotch: First-round Pick Scott Laughton Will Start Season with Flyers

Jan 18, 2013, 6:34 AM EDT

We probably could have led with Danny Briere beginning the
season on the non-roster/injured list thanks to a hairline fracture in his left
wrist, but we don’t want you to worry. Expectations are he’ll be back before
you know it.

In the meantime it appears we’re going to get a good look at
20th overall selection Scott Laughton from this past summer’s draft – at least
for five games anyway.

Nothing is set in stone just yet, but according to Tim Panaccio,
Laughton will have five games to show the NHL what he’s got. After that, the
Flyers have to make a decision on whether or not to send him back to junior
hockey, otherwise the season counts for one year toward his contract.

“It’s just been practices for the most part, but the kid can skate well, and make plays. He’s a smart player,” Laviolette said.
Can Laughton remain?
“I think I’ll probably have those discussions with [general manager] Paul Holmgren first,” he said.

The Inq’s Sam Carchidi adds that he’s been centering a third
featuring Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read.

Laughton, an 18-year-old center from Canada, could very well be
sent back to junios at the end of his five games, especially since Briere is thought to
be close to returning. That said if nothing else it will be fun to get a look
at the kid.

It is worth noting the organization had the same decision to
make with Sean Couturier last season, but he stayed with the club and did fine.
Then again, not everybody is Sean Couturier.

Panotch seems to think the team likes what they have seen,
so should Briere wind up being sidelined longer than hoped, or should Laughton
make an impression, maybe the kid sticks after all.

Not counting on it, but the season starts tomorrow,
Saturday. We’ll have a better idea in one week.