Head Coach Dave Tippett attended Monday’s on-ice session at Polar Ice in Peoria and afterward spoke about how nice it was to see the organization's top prospects all in one place, especially the ones who are close to being ready to make the leap to the NHL.
“What you have is players at different levels, and obviously some of that interests me a little more than others,” Tippett said. “(Also) there’s some young players ... I haven’t seen play on video or seen live, (and) it’s interesting to see how they play the game, how they skate, how they react to certain situations.”
Tippett also said that while he doesn’t like to evaluate players too closely at a mid-summer camp like this one, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson
was one player who stuck out to him.
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to listen to all of Tippett's remarks on Monday.
Forward Matt Watkins said the four-day camp was productive and provided the 22 prospects an opportunity to get a good skate in during the middle of the summer.
“I think it was good,” Watkins said. “The skates were really high tempo. It is the middle of July, but guys are still going hard and Ray (San Antonio Rampage Head Coach Ray Edwards) had us doing some really up-tempo drills. There was good pace. Overall, it was a good experience.”
Watkins added that a camp like this can help him get acclimated to the NHL caliber facilities and Coyotes staff members.
“It’s a good way to get used to the facilities, get to know some of the trainers, the medical people, so that when you do come to the main camp you do feel a little more comfortable with your surroundings, and that puts you at ease a lot more.”
|Brad Treliving, Dave Tippett and Don Maloney watch Monday's on-ice workout. Photo by Norm Hall. |
Not only did the prospects skate and do off-ice conditioning, they also did team-building activities such as participate in firefighter training exercises on Saturday afternoon and climb Camelback Mountain on Sunday morning.
“There’s a lot of good things you can do to get out of the weight room and get out of the monotony of skating and just working out, and that’s one of those things that we did,” Watkins said. “We also climbed Camelback Mountain, and those are two good things to get out of the weight room and train in a little different atmosphere.”
Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving said he and General Manager Don Maloney were pleased by what they saw at the camp and the progress that many of the prospects have made.
“We’re extremely excited about the skill level,” Treliving said. “We’re extremely excited about the potential that lies within this group, and I think it was an excellent week in terms of educating these young men of what it takes to make that next step in their pro careers.”
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to watch a video recap of the final day of the Prospect Development Camp.