GLENDALE -- Coyotes prospects took a break from their on-ice workouts on Wednesday morning to spend quality time with some of the team's valued partners in the community across the Phoenix metropolitan area.
The 38 young players, who are in town for the annual Prospect Development Camp, were divided into six groups, and each group spent several hours touching base with Valley residents.
First-round draft picks Dylan Strome, Nick Merkley, Clayton Keller and Pierre-Olivier Joseph were among a pack of players who visited The Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix. While there, the players, plus General Manager John Chayka, exercised, painted and constructed toy rockets with children of various ages.
"A big part of what we're doing at development camp is trying to get kids to understand what it takes to be an Arizona Coyote," Chayka said. "Part of that is giving back to the community and being professionals. It was a fun day. I thought our kids did a real good job of giving back today. We drafted a bunch of special players, but we also drafted a bunch of special people."
Strome, Keller and Cam Dineen visited a group of children and created 3-D self portraits. Chayka, Merkley, Nate Schnarr and Kyle Copabianco interacted with a group of children and helped them assemble toy rockets. And Joseph and Hunter Miska spent time outside recreating with children on the campus lawn.
The highlight of the visit occurred when the adults brought the toy rockets outside and launched them high into the sky, complete with a group countdown to each launch.
Just before leaving, Chayka and the prospects presented the children with red Coyotes sweaters.
"This was an unbelievable experience," Miska said. "It's so fun getting out in the community and meeting new people, especially kids. It was pretty awesome to see their faces when we handed the jerseys to them. They were pretty excited. It was a very special day for all of us."
The other outings by the prospects:
• A group of prospects visited Ronald McDonald House in Phoenix where they helped prepare a breakfast meal and interacted with resident families after the meal preparation was complete.
• A group of prospects visited Desert Horizon Police Precinct and Phoenix Fire Department Station 31 where they delivered donuts to personnel on duty and received tours of both facilities.
• A group of prospects visited Ryan House in Phoenix where they helped prepare freezable meals for the resident families staying at the house, which provides palliative and respite care of children facing life-limiting or life threatening illnesses.
• A group of prospects visited Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale where they visited patients currently staying in the hospital and handed out various Coyotes items.
• A group of prospects visited Power Paws in Scottsdale where they helped handle and care for dogs that assist children and adults with disabilities, mobility impairments, Type 1 diabetes and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
NOTE: CLICK HERE to read more about Prospects Tour Power Paws