Chris Pryor, the Flyers' director of hockey operations and their lead scout for the draft, is in an unusual place -- the first round of a draft.
Thursday's flurry of trades brought Philadelphia the No. 8 pick in the 2011 Entry Draft. The Flyers haven't picked this high since 2007, and they haven't picked anywhere in the first round since 2008.
"It's a day that we're happy about because we're in that position," Pryor told NHL.com.
Pryor wasn't ready to reveal what player he was targeting with his selection, but he said he's confident Philadelphia will land a solid contributor.
|Chris Pryor (center) goes over a game plan with his scouting staff the day for the 2010 Draft in LA. |
"I think there's a good group of guys, especially right now, the pick we've got, we're looking at some players we like as a group that we've seen a lot of during the year," said Pryor. "We're very happy to get into the position we're in. We're excited about the players we're looking at."
Pryor said he believed the depth in this year's draft class is at center and defense, which follows the organization's draft philosophy.
"The strengths of your team are down the middle," Pryor said. "You look at the Flyers, we've always believed down the middle and in our defense, and that's two positions in this draft we can get stronger."
If the Flyers opt for a defenseman, among the names likely to be available are Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers, Nathan Beaulieu of the Saint John Sea Dogs, Duncan Siemens of the Saskatoon Blades, Joseph Morrow of the Portland Winterhawks and Jonas Brodin of Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League.
Options at center could be Ryan Strome of the Niagara IceDogs, Saint John's Zack Phillips, Mika Zibanejad of Djurgarden in the Swedish Elite League, Vladislav Namestnikov of the London Knights and Mark McNeill of the Prince Albert Raiders.