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Rookies Impress Chayka at Prospect Showcase

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE - Coyotes rookies returned to Arizona late Tuesday after competing in the Prospect Showcase, a tournament in San Jose designed to prepare them for main training camp this weekend.

Arizona, the youngest squad in the four-team, round-robin Prospect Showcase, posted a 1-2 record vs. Anaheim, Colorado and San Jose.

"The guys that we expected to be good were good, and the guys that we needed to have a confidence-building tournament were able to do that," General Manager John Chayka said. "I'm excited to see what's next from them once the big boys show up."

Coyotes training camp begins Friday and 20 of the 29 prospects from the Rookie Camp will get to skate with "the big boys." The first of three practices on Friday is set to begin at 9 a.m. at Gila River Arena.

Some of the 20 rookies who will attend training camp are listed below, in alphabetical order, along with a comment from Chayka on their performance at the tournament:

Christian Fischer

Chayka: "Fischer plays a big, heavy, power-forward style of game. In this type of tournament he was able to dominate physically, but he is working on other parts of his game that maybe aren't what his calling card is. He's a smart enough player that when he gets to camp he'll know what he's got to do to be successful."

Adin Hill

Chayka: "Adin had a big summer and he tested extremely well physically at the start of camp. He takes a real mature approach. We saw some good things and some things he needs to work on as he goes through main camp."

Pierre-Olivier Joseph

Chayka: "I was really impressed with P.O. We drafted him knowing he would be a bit of a project. He's still young. He's still raw. But I thought he just read the play so well. All the fundamental pieces are in place for him to play in the NHL."

Clayton Keller

Chayka: "I thought Clayton built his confidence up. He started to figure out his time and space as the games wore on and showed us why he's a special player. That's what we're looking for with him."

Ryan MacInnis

Chayka: "It was good to see Ryan use his big body and make plays. I think he was very productive." 

Nick Merkley

Chayka: "He played well. He was definitely one of our top forwards. He's smart, he's competitive and he played with his edge." 

Hunter Miska

Chayka: "I was impressed. He's very well prepared and he moves extremely well. He's fast and he was tracking the puck well. He looked like a pro out there. It was good to see."

Dylan Strome

Chayka: "He went out and just played his game - a very cerebral, play-making, facilitating type of game - and he was productive. He was good."

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