Defenseman Brandon Gormley
is out to show some NHL teams they passed on something special.
Gormley, a native of Murray River, PEI, was projected by some hockey publications to be a top-five selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. That didn’t happen, however, as eight of the first 12 teams drafted forwards. When the Coyotes took their turn they gladly selected Gormley with the 13th overall pick.
“We were real surprised that day,” Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving said. “We had him rated, at that point, in the top five. So we were excited to get him, and that’s how the draft sometimes works.”
Gormley, who is participating in this year’s Rookie Camp at Jobing.com Arena and will likely see plenty of ice time in rookie games vs. Los Angeles this week, recently talked about being picked by the Coyotes on draft day.
“As a player you can’t put too much thought into the rankings,” Gormley said. “They’re just predictions and the draft is funny the way it works. Teams get what they need and sometimes there’s just that one player that’s just higher on their chart than you, and at the end of the day it’s just a number.”
San Antonio Head Coach Ray Edwards, who is overseeing Rookie Camp, talked about how important it is for players who have never played professionally to adjust to different facets of the professional game. On Monday, Edwards noted that speed is an area Gormley already has made strides in after three days at camp.
“It looked like everything was a little quicker from him,” Edwards said. “(His shot is) a little harder, a little firmer, his passes were quicker. It just gets a little better every day.”
Gormley’s appearance at Rookie Camp has capped a whirlwind summer for the young defenseman. Not only was he drafted this summer, but he also participated in the Coyotes Prospect Development Camp in July and Team Canada’s Orientation Camp for this December’s World Junior Championship.
Gormley said the events of this summer have helped to bring him closer to his ultimate goal.
“It’s great to be here, and I’m kind of one step closer,” Gormley said. “With that said, there’s still a lot of work to be done and hopefully I can make it on to the main camp and try to prove that I should be here.”
Treliving said the organization has no plans to rush him in his development.
“We’re not sitting here pinning our hopes on Brandon being a guy that’s got to play on our team at age 18,” Treliving said. “We just want him to come here and continue to progress each day and learn. But he’s a big part of our future going forward.”
Now that Gormley has gotten his feet wet in Phoenix, he says he’s happy to be a part of the Coyotes organization and a part of a group of good defensive prospects.
“They’re a great organization,” Gormley said. “They do a great job in bringing their players in and getting them that experience. It’s just nice to have familiar surroundings, to come into a camp like this and just focus on playing your game.”