ST. PAUL, Minn. – It was a good day to be a Flyers prospect Monday.
Team Canada announced their final list of camp invitees for the World Junior Championships and two Flyers prospects were on the short list.
Forwards Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier were among 15 forwards invited to the training camp. Team Canada will likely cut two forwards before the tournament starts Dec. 20 in Sweden.
“I’m excited for Taylor,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “He’s played very well and I know there were some rumblings of late that he had a chance to be added to the team, so that’s great for him.
“I thought Scott would be one of their guys all along, but Taylor… it just goes to show you that here’s a kid who is a fourth round pick and that he’s a good hockey player. He’s a good two-way player and plays a 200-foot game and is good at both ends.”
Laughton, the Flyers first round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft has been on fire since being sent back to his junior team, the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.
In 25 games with the Generals, Laughton has 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points and his offense has helped Oshawa to a 21-7-1 record, second-best in the OHL.
“From what I can gather, the guys who have seen him play say he’s been playing really well,” Holmgren said. “They have a good team with him and he’s averaging close to two points a game, so good for him. When we made a decision to send him back we wanted him to have success and possibly play for the World Junior team, so things have kind of gone how we had hoped.”
As for Leier, a fourth round pick in the same draft, He’s off to an equally impressive start with 19 goals and 19 assists for 38 points in 28 games for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. Leier has helped guide them to a 20-5-3 record, also good for the second-best mark in their league.
The Flyers should anticipate more World Junior Team news Wednesday when the U.S. Team is announced.
Goaltending prospect Anthony Stolarz will likely be on that roster. He’s gotten off to a good start for the London Knights this season. In 20 starts, he is 16-3-1. His goals against average is up slightly from last season, but is still a strong 2.40, but perhaps most noticeable is his save percentage, which as of now is at .929, which is the best of his young career.
Stolarz was also taken in that 2012 draft by the Flyers, which could turn out to be one of their best draft classes in franchise history.
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