The draft board that Flyers director of hockey operations Chris Pryor keeps in his Wells Fargo Center office is updated every week based on meetings with his scouting staff. More so than most years, he's been zeroing in on names at the very top of his rankings, which list 150 or so of the top players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft.

That's the bittersweet reward Pryor could get if the Flyers don't finish the season strong and end up where they are now - near the bottom of the league standings.

"Right now is such a hard time to be excited because we're all in this to win and we're going through a little bit of a tough time," Pryor said. "But on a whole separate side there's a group of players in this draft that you get excited about and if we happen to be picking in a certain place, we're high on a small group of players."

This year's seven-round draft, which will be held from start to finish June 30 in Newark, includes at least three players scouts are drooling over - near-consensus No. 1 Seth Jones, a big do-it-all Western Hockey League defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks; and two high-scoring linemates for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, center Nathan MacKinnon and left wing Jonathan Drouin.

The Flyers are making a real run at getting one of them. After losing 4-3 to the New York Islanders in a shootout Thursday night, the Flyers had just 29 points, good for a tie with Tampa Bay for the third-lowest total in the league ahead of only Florida, Colorado and Calgary.

And if they get lucky in the April 29 draft lottery - all 14 non-playoff teams will take part - the Flyers could end up with a young Chris Pronger clone in Jones, a 6-foot-3, 205-pounder who is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones.