The official Coyotes training camp began Saturday as 23 rookies took the ice at Jobing.com Arena. The veteran players will join them in a week.
“It’s good to be on the ice here and get started,” said Mikkel Boedker
, the team’s first pick in this year’s NHL Draft. “I am using this skate just for me to see where I am at and if I can play at this skill level...I am trying to work as hard as I can and show the coaches I can play.”
Recent Hobey Baker Award winner Kevin Porter joined Boedker and several other prospects who are attending their first professional training camps.
“It was great to get out there and skate with these guys for the first time and get a little conditioning in,” Porter said.
Players were split into two ice sessions, forwards and defensemen/goalies, and were tested on their stamina and skating ability. For the coaches, having this many rookies with a shot at making the team is uncommon.
“Realistically, between four and six rookies have a really good shot at making the roster and that is very unusual,” said Associate Coach Ulf Samuelsson, who oversaw the first day of camp.
The rookies will return to the Jobing.com Arena ice on Sunday at 10 a.m., and Head Coach Wayne Gretzky is expected to be there and take over for Samuelsson.