The NHL front-office folks who want the option to have a 19-year-old drafted out of the Canadian junior leagues play in the AHL might seize the footage of Scott Laughton's latest goal for evidence.
While there is always something that a player can learn during his fourth year in the Ontario Hockey League, Laughton has pretty much done whatever he wanted offensively since the Philadelphia Flyers returned him to the Oshawa Generals. Take Sunday, when he pulled a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't, toe-drag move to beat a 6-foot-3 defenceman, Peterborough's Connor Boland, then completed the spectacular goal with a backhand move on goalie Andrew D'Agostini. That was part of a five-point effort in a 5-3 win for the Gens, who lead the OHL's Eastern Conference.
At least someone associated with the Flyers is scoring. Laughton's had 14 goals and 25 points in 13 games in the 'Shwa. The Flyers have scored 21 goals all seaon.
It is a huge stretch to say Philly wouldn't be struggling just as badly if it had kept Laughton. That would be a huge burden to place on a 19-year-old with only five games of big-league experience. But the Generals' offensive leader has moments where he has the OHL completely mastered, so it's understandable why Flyers followers' displeasure would be exacerbated by the worry one of their first-round picks isn't being challenged enough in the OHL.
(Videos: Dan Malta, @danfromcanada.)
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.