Even before his hat-trick, Tanner Laczynski was already turning heads. The Phantoms’ 23-year-old rookie center has impressed since returning from a minor injury earlier this season, and last night’s performance only reaffirmed that sentiment.
Just under seven minutes into the second period, Laczynski would score his first of the night; a wrister from just above the right faceoff circle. Chris Bigras picked up the lone assist, intercepting a pass in the neutral zone before re-entering the Devils’ end of the ice. He then lifted the stick of the Binghamton defender before jumping out of the way of Laczynski’s shot.
Laczynski’s hat-trick was unique in that all three goals were scored in different game situations; one at even strength, one on the power-play, and one while shorthanded.
His power-play marker tied the game early in the third period. In the 30 seconds leading up to the goal, Laczynski had created the zone entry and beat two Binghamton penalty killers along the boards by himself to start the Phantoms’ cycle. Once the Devils retrieved the puck, Logan Day caught the attempted clear and got the puck to Isaac Ratcliffe in the middle of the ice. From there, Ratcliffe quickly made a pass on his backhand, allowing Laczynski the time to step into a better shooting lane.
The Phantoms’ power-play has struggled through the first quarter of the season, but with three power-play goals in their last two games, perhaps they’re beginning to find their groove on the man-advantage.
About midway through the final frame, Laczynski capped off the hat-trick with his shorthanded, between the legs, game-winner.
Like, seriously!? What a goal!
Laczynski scored his first two goals just last Sunday, a two-goal performance against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, including the overtime winner. In 11 (and 1⁄3) games this season, he has 5 goals and 4 assists. Per my tracking, Laczynski has a 57.22 Corsi-For percentage and a 64.55 Expected Goals-for percentage at five-on-five. He’s arguably been the team’s most impactful forward at even strength, all while consistently impressing on the Phantoms’ league-best penalty kill.
With the 3-2 victory, the Phantoms improved to 9-3-2 on the season and are back in action tonight in a re-match with Binghamton.
Recently, Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher stated that in “the next week or two” a couple of the prospects currently playing for the Phantoms could get a look with the big club. If that’s the case, look for Laczynski to be one of the first to get the call.
You can find manually tracked Phantoms data on Phancy Stats.