Laughton helps Team Canada to opening win

Laughton helps Team Canada to opening win
December 26, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Scott Laughton has 50 points in 29 games this season for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. (USA Today Images)

MALMO, Sweden -- Scott Laughton, the Flyers' first-round pick in 2012 (21st overall), is serving as the captain of Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Seeking their first gold medal since 2009, the Canadians kicked off the tournament with a 7-2 rout of Germany on Thursday.

Laughton, who has 50 points in 29 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals this season, won nine of his 11 draws against Germany, took three shots, and recorded a plus-1. I caught up with the hard-nosed center afterward.

How do you like the way your team came out of the gate?

Laughton: "It was good. We have a lot of [Canadian] fans here and I think it surprised a couple of the guys. It was good for the guys to get a game like this under our belt. It was more of a high-pressure game than the first three [exhibition games]. I think it was really good for us."

What did you think of your line with wingers Josh Anderson of the London Knights and Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic?

Laughton: "I thought we were good. Andy started it off for us, and we got in on the forecheck hard and kind of hemmed them in in the first period, and went from there. I was happy with our line. We have two big guys on my sides and they create a lot of energy."

You’re part of a long line of Canadian captains that includes Eric Lindros (1992) and Mike Richards (2005). How are you handling that?

Laughton: "It’s nice. It’s a huge honor. I’m taking it step by step, and just trying to lead the guys, not do too much. Just play my game and I think it’ll take care of itself."

Have you been in touch with the Flyers here?

"Yeah, a couple of the management sent me a text and said 'Merry Christmas' and 'Good luck' and things like that. I think a couple of guys are coming down for the tournament. I’m not too sure if they’re here yet. I’m sure we’ll be in touch."

How do you like Malmo?

"It’s really nice. We were in Copenhagen for a bit and we just got over here three or four days ago. It’s been nice so far and I think the boys have enjoyed it."

Who’s your roommate?

"It was Connor McDavid in Copenhagen, and then he was snoring too much, so I kicked him out. Now Anderson came in with me. We’re linemates, we’re roommates. So it’s been good."

What kind of a challenge are you expecting in your next game against the Czechs on Saturday?

"I think the same thing. Every European team is really skilled. We’ve just got to shut them down, play our game, and get in on the forecheck, and I think we’ll be OK."