With the Flyers lolling around the bottom of the Eastern Conference, some have already set their sights on the number of pingpong balls the team can rack between now and the end of this shortened season.

Top draft-eligible defenseman Seth Jones, an American who is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, has Flyers fans drooling.

With one eye toward next season, here's a look at what's in the Flyers' cupboard with our ranking of their Top 10 prospects:

(Flyers regular call-ups such as Erik Gustafsson (44 games), Marc-Andre Bourdon (45), Harry Zolnierczyk (43) and Eric Wellwood (31) were left off the list because of their significant NHL experience.)

1. Scott Laughton

Position: Center

Age: 18 (May 30, 1994)

Acquired: 2012 draft, Round 1 (20th overall)

Team: Oshawa (OHL)

Skinny: Laughton played five games with the Flyers to start the season before being sent back to Oshawa on Jan. 28. He fit in well, but did not post a point, and the Flyers thought it would be better to let his contract "slide," so that it doesn't start until next year at the earliest. Laughton has 56 points in 49 games with the Generals, who wrap up their regular season this weekend. With teammate Boone Jenner back, Laughton could help push Oshawa on a serious Memorial Cup run this spring.

2. Shayne Gostisbehere

Position: Defense

Age: 19 (April 20, 1993)

Acquired: 2012 draft, Round 3 (78th overall)

Team: Union (N.Y.) College (NCAA)

Skinny: Gostisbehere was one of the standout defensemen for the United States' gold medal-winning squad in the World Junior Championships in January in Russia. Gostisbehere isn't big (5-11), but he's working on using his stick and positioning to help him in the defensive zone. He's dynamic offensively and a solid puck mover. At Union, he's already topped last season's point total (23) in 11 fewer games. It's unclear whether the Flyers will push him to turn pro after this season, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

3. Tye McGinn

Position: Left Wing

Age: 22 (July 9, 1990)

Acquired: 2010 draft, Round 4 (119th overall)

Team: Adirondack (AHL)

Skinny: McGinn was a force for the Flyers during his 16 games this season, rocketing up these rankings after a relatively quiet first professional season last year. McGinn posted five points in those 16 contests, with his progress derailed in a fight with Toronto's Mike Brown on Feb. 25. He fractured his orbital bone in the fight, requiring surgery, and has since been rehabbing with the Phantoms. He might never pan out to be a top-six player, but he has a bright NHL future ahead of him.

4. Anthony Stolarz

Position: Goaltender

Age: 19 (Jan. 20, 1994)

Acquired: 2012 draft, Round 2 (45th overall)

Team: London (OHL)

Skinny: Stolarz shocked the Flyers and the NCAA hockey community when he decided to leave the University of Nebraska-Omaha in December, halfway through his freshman season. Apparently not thrilled with his playing time (2-5-0), Stolarz took his talents to Dale Hunter's London Knights program, which has a great relationship with the Flyers organization. The 6-5 netminder has been tremendous for London, compiling a 12-3-2 record with a .920 save percentage and 2.31 goals-against average vs. the world's top major junior players.

5. Nick Cousins

Position: Center

Age: 19 (July 20, 1993)

Acquired: 2011 draft, Round 3 (68th overall)

Team: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

Skinny: Heading into the final weekend of the OHL regular season, Cousins (101 points) has a chance to finish atop the league scoring leaderboard. Only three Flyers draft picks (Bobby Clarke, Mel Bridgman, Brian Propp) have led a major junior league in scoring. He trails Sarnia's Charles Sarault by five points. Cousins is still awaiting trial for a sexual assault case in Canada from a September arrest. His defensive zone play has improved considerably, but it's still the major thing keeping him from making a quick impact on the Flyers' roster.

6. Brandon Manning

Position: Defense

Age: 22 (June 4, 1990)

Acquired: Free agent

Team: Adirondack (AHL)

Skinny: Manning, nicknamed "Mad Dog," played well in four games with the Flyers last season. He's collected 16 points in 57 games with the Phantoms this season, mostly using his mobility. Manning displayed some nerves in his cup of coffee with the Flyers, but that issue could disappear with more experience. Unfortunately for him, Gustafsson, Andreas Lilja and even Bourdon are clogging his route to the show.

7. Taylor Leier

Position: Left wing

Age: 19 (Feb. 15, 1994)

Acquired: 2012 draft, Round 4 (117th overall)

Team: Portland (WHL)

Skinny: Leier, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native, has strung together a solid season for a Portland Winterhawks team that has received much attention. Leier has 62 points in 62 games. He's a complementary piece to a roster that includes Seth Jones and three different 100-point scorers. Leier has nearly doubled his offensive production (37 points) in 10 fewer games than last season. He's not a big guy (5-11), but his hands and intelligence make him noticeable. Leier will likely remain in Portland for another season.

8. Marcel Noebels

Position: Center

Age: 21 (March 14, 1992)

Acquired: 2011 draft, Round 4 (118th overall)

Team: Adirondack (AHL)

Skinny: Because of the NHL lockout, Noebels started his season with Trenton (ECHL), but has posted 13 points in 26 games with the Phantoms. This is Noebels' first professional season. The Tonisvorst, Germany, native aged out of the WHL last season, where he finished the year with Leier. Noebels has a decent frame (205 pounds) that should serve him well at the pro level. If he can increase his foot speed, he could become a solid third- or fourth-line NHL player.

9. Mark Alt

Position: Defense

Age: 21 (Oct. 18, 1991)

Acquired: Trade from Carolina on Jan. 19, 2013

Team: Minnesota (NCAA)

Skinny: The Flyers acquired Alt, a former second-round pick, in a trade involving Brian Boucher on the day training camp opened. Offensively, Alt has had a down season for the Golden Gophers. He's followed up his 22-point campaign with only seven points this season. Minnesota is ranked No. 2 in most national polls - and Alt has played fewer minutes this season on a deep team. He can skate and move the puck well, which should bode well for his post-collegiate career.

10. Jason Akeson

Position: Right wing

Age: 22 (June 3, 1990)

Acquired: Free agent

Team: Adirondack (AHL)

Skinny: Akeson (36 points) is the only Phantoms player to outscore Brayden Schenn (33 points) this season, even though Schenn has been with the Flyers since Jan. 19. He also led the Phantoms in scoring last year. Yet Akeson seems to be in the organizational doghouse, as he has never played an NHL game. Worse, Akeson was cut from the Phantoms in training camp and was forced to reprove himself in Trenton (ECHL). Apparently, 55 points in 76 games last season for a poor team did not prove enough.

Slap shots

Defenseman Luke Schenn (flu) was back in the Flyers' lineup on Friday night against New Jersey . . . Because of an error in revenue projection, the NHL Players' Associationi upped the amount of escrow withholding in player paychecks on Friday from 10 percent to 20 percent. The money is withheld in case the players are to earn more in salary than their 50-50 total hockey related revenue split with the league.


"It's pretty easy to be loose when you're winning. I'm just not happy with the way I'm playing, the way the team's playing, the way the team is going. I know what I have to be out there. I'm just a guy who doesn't like to lose. I'm a competitive guy. Anytime I lose, I try anything I can to get back to winning."

- Flyers captain Claude Giroux on Thursday when asked whether he feels as if he hasn't been himself this season.

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