The 2008 Phoenix Coyotes Prospect Development Camp officially kicked off on Monday as the players arrived in Arizona. Kyle Turris headlines the group of youngsters in attendance at this year’s camp and will be joined by recent first round draft picks Mikkel Boedker
and Viktor Tikhonov
. Others in attendance include Hobey Baker Award winner Kevin Porter and his Michigan teammates Chad Kolarik and Chris Summers
, as well as Josh Tordjman, Nick Ross
, Brett MacLean
, Jonas Ahnelov
and a host of other young prospects.
The purpose of the camp is to give the prospects a chance to improve their game during the summer while also offering them a taste of professional hockey. It will focus on conditioning, strength, power and agility training fundamentals, high speed skill development and nutrition. The coaching staff for the Prospect Development Camp will include San Antonio Rampage (AHL) Head Coach Greg Ireland, Assistant Coach Ray Edwards, Coyotes’ Director of Prospect Development Sean Burke, Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Mike Bahn and Power Skating Coach Mark Ciaccio.
|Coyotes Prospects Lining up for Physicals |
The players arrived at Jobing.com Arena on Monday with equipment bags slung over their shoulders as they entered the Coyotes locker room. Many of the players had just landed in Phoenix after lengthy flights from their hometowns, so the first day was just a chance to get acquainted with one another and take care of some housekeeping items.
First, they had to meet with the team’s equipment staff to receive their Coyotes workout attire and any hockey gear they may need. While some players worked on preparing new hockey sticks, others met with Bahn to have their heights and weights recorded. Once they had their NHL headshot taken by the team photographer, it was off to the training room to go through a routine medical exam with the team physician.
After each player had completed the circuit, they gathered in the locker room as General Manager Don Maloney welcomed them to camp and introduced them to the hockey staff. The meeting was followed by a team dinner, after which the players returned to their hotel. Day 2:
On Tuesday, the players hit the ice for the first time at Desert Schools Coyotes Center in Peoria. The goaltenders went on early for individual instruction from Burke, a former NHL All-Star with the Coyotes. At 10:00 a.m., the rest of the players joined them for an hour-long practice run by Ireland and Edwards, Burke and Ciaccio.
The coaches put the players through a fast-paced, high-intensity practice that offered great goals and dazzling saves. Afterwards, the group boarded a bus back to Jobing.com Arena for lunch and an off-ice workout.
|Coyotes Forward Chad Kolarik |
The Coyotes prospects were back on the ice Wednesday morning for another brisk skate. After going through various drills for the first 45 minutes of practice, they spent the final portion of the session scrimmaging. The top line of Turris, Boedker and MacLean seamed to have some good chemistry as the trio created several good scoring chances.
Following an afternoon workout and dinner, the players signed autographs at the Coyotes Rookie Camp Open House at Jobing.com Arena on Wednesday evening. Hundreds of fans made their way through the line to meet the future of the Coyotes and get photos and autographs.Day 4:
The rookies took a break from the ice on Thursday and spent the morning outdoors. Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Mike Bahn led the squad on a 1.2-mile hike up Camelback Mountain, a 1,264-foot climb. “We wanted to challenge the players in a group setting away from the ice while also experiencing one of Phoenix’s landmark activities,” said Bahn.
Bahn and the players were joined on the hike by Don Maloney, Brad Treliving (Assistant General Manager), Sean Burke, Greg Ireland, Ray Edwards, John Bernal (Rampage Athletic Trainer), Marck Ciaccio, and Louie DeBrusk (Coyotes Radio Broadcaster).
|2008 Rookie Prospects Camelback Mountain Hike |
The final two days of camp followed the same routine: Skate from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m., bus back to the arena for lunch, off-ice workouts in the afternoon and a group dinner at a Phoenix restaurant at night.
Overall, the camp was viewed by everyone as a success. Coyotes management got a great look at the prospects who make up the future of the organization while the players had the opportunity to improve their game and get to know one another. For now, they will head in separate directions but all share the same dream of one day playing for the Phoenix Coyotes.