Moments ago the news broke --
The Flyers locked up a young defenseman with tons of upside, and ministered their 2012 1st Round Draft pick (20th Overall), Scott Laughton, with his Entry-Level Contract (ELC).
The 6'0", 225lbs Marc-Andre Bourdon skated in 45-games last season with the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring 4-goals and assisted on 3 others. Though his size is nothing to shutter from on paper, "MAB" still registered 73-hits and 77-blocked shots in his first official NHL season.
In fact, The Hockey News' Prospect Watch listed Bourdon's gritty, hard-hitting game as one of his biggest assets he has to offer his hockey Club --
“I think physical play is a good asset for me,” Bourdon said. “I’ve got good vision and can do good stuff with the puck. There are some that can’t really hit or fight, but I can, so it helps me out.”
Despite his physical nature on the ice, Hockey's Future still has MAB listed as an offensive-defenseman with a prospect talent score of 6.5. What does that mean?
A score of 6.5 lands Marc-Andre's potential between becoming a top pairing defenseman and a player whose game is mainly defensive-oriented, keeping him on-board as a #5/6 blue liner. Which as of this moment, is a must-have for the Flyers. Just yesterday the news broke out about Andrej Meszaros' achilles tendon tear, and just like that.....we lost our greatest offensive threat from the defense.
Bourdon is hoping he can fill in effectively for the 6'3", 223lbs Meszaros.
Right now, Marc-Andre's a depth defenseman who will be battling for Philadelphia's open spot with the likes of Erik Gustafsson, Brandon Manning and (the quickly rising) Oliver "Great Dane" Lauridsen. But judging from his performance in the Big League last season, I'm thinking MAB leads the pack of potentials.
The 19yr old Scott Laughton was certainly a surprise being chosen 20th overall by our Philadelphia wrecking crew, especially since defense was (and still is) our largest concern.
But GM Paul Holmgren couldn't pass up on the centerman's work ethic and north-to-south playing domination. His talent analysis from Hockey's Future paints a better description --
Laughton is a two-way center whose primary skills are on the defensive side of the ledger. He is a hard-worker with a consistent approach to the game and plenty of smarts. Laughton is not a highly skilled player and it remains to be seen how he'll develop in this area, but he should be an effective third-line player with some potential for second-line duty.
With young additions down the middle of our ice, Laughton is looking to one day join the ranks of Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn, and Sean Couturier. Let's also not forget about Nick Cousins who's shown nothing less than extreme promise since the Flyers inked him to his ELC. The potential splitting our wingers in this organization is exciting, a lot to look forward to and a pleasure to witness climbing the ladder.
And speaking of our organization, with the contractual additions of Marc-Andre Bourdon and Scott Laughton, that puts our total to 51-contracts. And as Broad Street Hockey points out, the limit is 50, but the contracts of Laughton, Nick Cousins and Derek Mathers can "slide" and begin in the 2013-14 season. If all three do slide, and it's expected that they likely will, the Flyers will be at 48 total contracts.
That "slide" terminology refers to entry-level contracts and how they fall under Article 9.1 (d)(i) of the CBA's arbitrary slide rule --
In the event that an 18 year old or 19 year old Player signs an Standard Player Contract (SPC) with a Club but does not play at least ten (10) NHL Games in the first season under that SPC, the term of his SPC and his number of years in the Entry Level System shall be extended for a period of one (1) year, except that this automatic extension will not apply to a Player who is 19 according to Section 9.2 by virtue of turning 20 between September 16 and December 31 in the year in which he first signs an SPC.
Unless a Player and Club expressly agree to the contrary, in the event a Player's SPC is extended an additional year in accordance with this subsection, all terms of the SPC, with the exception of Signing Bonuses, but including Paragraph 1 Salary, games played bonuses and Exhibit 5 bonuses, shall be extended; provided, however, that the Player's Paragraph 1 Salary shall be extended in all circumstances.
Here's to our future Broad Street Bullies! Cheers!
FYI: Neither of these reported contracts' fiscal details have been disclosed.
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