GLENDALE -- Three goaltenders from three different backgrounds have one common goal - to stand out at Coyotes Rookie Camp.
Before the Coyotes rookies traveled to Los Angeles to take on the Kings’ rookies they had one final practice at Gila River Arena on Monday, and stopping pucks shot by this year's talented pool of prospects was Marek Langhamer, Adin Hill and Niklas Treutle.
|Marek Langhamer. Photo by Norm Hall. |
Langhamer is no stranger to Coyotes Rookie Camp. He was drafted by the organization in the seventh round (184th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and is making his third rookie camp appearance.
The Czech native appeared in 50 games in his final junior season with Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League and posted a record of 30-16-3 with a 2.81 goals-against average, a .902 save percentage and a pair of shutouts, leading the Tigers to the postseason before falling to Calgary in the second round in five games.
Langhamer said that while he has attended rookie camp before, in many ways it feels like a brand new experience because he’s fighting for a professional roster spot instead of heading back to the junior ranks.
“This will be my first year going pro, so I’m kind of lost, too,” said Langhamer. “I don’t know what to expect, but I’m just going to go day-by-day and work as hard as I can to make myself better and we’ll see how far that takes me.”
Meanwhile, Hill is in a much different position than Langhamer. He is making his Rookie Camp debut after being drafted by Arizona at this summer’s Entry Draft in the third round (76th overall).
|Adin Hill. Photo by Norm Hall. |
Hill is coming off his second junior season with Portland of the WHL where he played in 46 games last season and posted a record of 31-11-1 with a 2.81 GAA, a .921 save percentage and two shutouts. He helped his team make the playoffs where they advanced all the way to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to Kelowna in six games.
The British Columbia native says that the past few days of camp have surely been an eye-opener for him.
“It’s been a good experience," Hill said. “A little faster pace than where my (junior) team is at, but it’s been fun, it’s been fast practices, and I’ve enjoyed it.”
The other rookie camp newcomer is Niklas Treutle, and he’s traveled a different road than that of his two counterparts. Instead of being drafted, General Manager Don Maloney signed Treutle to a one-year entry-level contract on July 29 after recording a record of 20-10-0 with a 2.06 GAA and a .923 save percentage in 30 games for Munich of the German League.
The Nuremberg native arrived in the Valley a few weeks ago and prepared for his first taste of North American professional hockey by skating with Coyotes captain Shane Doan and other NHL veterans at their informal workouts at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.
But despite his extensive European hockey resume, Treutle says he has experience playing on the smaller ice and actually prefers the North American-style game.
|Niklas Treutle. Photo by Norm Hall. |
“When I played at the World Juniors (in Buffalo in 2011) I felt like I liked the smaller ice,” Treutle said. “Pucks are coming more to the net, players have less time. So, they bring it to the net and there’s a lot of net drive. I kind of liked that game when I was at the World Juniors and I don’t think it’s a big thing for me to get used to. The practices are really intense, you feel like everyone wants to show up and I think it’s just more fun to play hockey here.”
Despite the high compete level in camp and different paths taken to this point, the three goalies still help each other out and push each other to succeed. For example, Langhamer and Hill have been roommates during camp, and Hill says that his fellow goaltender has been talking to him about the in’s and out’s of the organization and what to expect as camp goes along.
“He’s been great to me,” Hill said. “He’s helping me out a lot and I’ve learned a lot from him.”
Each goalie is expected to play this week when the Coyotes rookies battle the Kings rookies in El Segundo, Calif.