GLENDALE - Dylan Strome is one of the senior members of this year's Prospect Development Camp and has stood out among his peers over the first two days.
"He looks bigger, he looks stronger," said Steve Sullivan, the first-year Assistant General Manager of the Coyotes, who has been monitoring Strome's progress within player development since Arizona drafted him third overall in 2015. "He looks a little bit quicker on the ice (his) first couple steps, he looks a little bit more mature, and he looks like he's determined. He's out here being a leader and pushing the pace. That's what we're hoping for when these players come in for their last development camp before they turn pro. We're hoping they're going to push the rest of the group for us and be a player the other ones can look up to."
Strome played seven games for the Coyotes at the start of last season before being returned to junior hockey where he captained the Erie Otters to the Ontario Hockey League championship and was named Most Valuable Player of the Memorial Cup. It was a grueling season for Strome, who also played for Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship.
"I feel good," Strome said after his first skate at development camp. "(Last season) was the longest season I've ever had in my life and it was pretty crazy playing at so many different levels of hockey."
Strome has been in Arizona this month already getting ready for training camp in September. He wants to make the roster again out of training camp, but stick.
"It was a nice little taste (of the NHL last season), but obviously it wasn't good enough, so I've got to be better this year and go into camp with the mindset that I'm going to play in the NHL this year," Strome said.
Strome earned a valuable lesson during his short stint in the NHL last season that he plans to keep in mind this season and beyond.
"You have to work hard every day (in the NHL) because you never know when it's going to be your last," Strome said. "You have to work hard every time you are out there (on the ice) and every time you are in the gym. It's a 24-hour job, that's for sure."
Video: Strome Q&A at Development Camp