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'Yotes Notes: Prospects Report to Development Camp

Team management will watch 38 young players skate in Arizona this week

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

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes welcomed 38 young players, including the nine they drafted last weekend, to a week-long Prospect Development Camp on Monday.

"It's a good week to get out here and get familiar with some of the guys, and just work hard and show them you have to work," said Dylan Strome, who is taking part in the annual off-season camp for a third time.

Strome is one of three players at this camp who played briefly in the NHL last season. Clayton Keller and Christian Fischer are the others. The trio is expected to lead the young group, on and off the ice, as they try to impress management with their skills and professionalism.

"We've talked about how it's a development camp, not a training camp," General Manager John Chayka said. "They're here to learn, ask questions, they're here to improve, and to get a plan in place for each individual of what they need to do moving forward. But at the same time life is an evaluation too, and this is a hard business. Any time you get a chance to make an impression, that's what they're trying to do."

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'Yotes Notes: Chayka Likes Cousins' Playmaking Skills, Grit

Center Nick Cousins is eager for new opportunity with Arizona

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

GLENDALE - The Coyotes added center Nick Cousins on Friday via a trade with Philadelphia, then submitted his name to the NHL on Saturday as one of the eight skaters they protected from the NHL Expansion Draft.

Cousins, 23, has played 107 NHL games, all for Philadelphia, which drafted him 68th overall in 2011.

"This is a good opportunity for me," Cousins said. "I'm really looking forward to getting to Arizona and meeting the guys."

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'Yotes Notes: Arizona Embraces New Rival

Coyotes are eager to develop competitive relationship with Vegas

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

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes have embraced the arrival of the Vegas Golden Knights into the NHL and are looking forward to the development of a, ahem, heated hockey rivalry in the desert.

"I think it's great to have another team so close to us," General Manager John Chayka said Thursday. "It's a natural rival and I hope it evolves that way. They are going to have a pretty good team as an expansion team. For us to have a team so close will be a real positive and exciting for the fans."

The Valley and Vegas are about 300 miles apart, and the teams are expected to play each other five times in 2017-18.

Arizona, and the other 29 incumbent NHL teams, soon will learn which player on their roster they will lose to the Golden Knights as part of the NHL Expansion Draft. Each team is required to submit a list of protected players to the NHL by 2 p.m. (Arizona time) on Saturday. Vegas will then pick its roster from players not protected and not exempt, and announce its choices on Wednesday in conjunction with the annual NHL Awards ceremony at T-Mobile Arena, the Knights' home rink.

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'Yotes Notes: Ekman-Larsson Earns Chance to Win Gold Medal

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

Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson notched an assist on Team Sweden's game-winning goal during its 4-1 victory over Team Finland on Saturday in a semifinal match at the IIHF World Championship in Cologne, Germany.

Ekman-Larsson helped set up a power-play goal by John Klingberg at 4:36 of the second period. Alexander Edler, William Nylander and Joakim Nordstrom also scored for the Swedes, and Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves.

Ekman-Larsson has produced five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games played at the annual tournament, in which 16 nations compete. 

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'Yotes Notes: Strome One Win from Playing for Memorial Cup

Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome and the Erie Otters can secure OHL championship on Friday

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

GLENDALE -- Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome and the Erie Otters need one victory to capture the Ontario Hockey League championship and secure a trip to the 2017 Memorial Cup.

Erie leads Mississauga, 3-1, in the best-of-seven championship series. Game 5 is Friday night at Erie.

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'Yotes Notes: Michalek Experiences Emotional Finale

Defenseman Zbynek Michalek likely played his final NHL game on Saturday

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

GLENDALE - Defenseman Zbynek Michalek likely played his final NHL game on Saturday night at Gila River Arena against the team he broke into the League with in 2003-04.

Michalek, 34, skated 19:48, took two shots on goal and delivered two hits in a 3-1 loss to Minnesota in the season finale for the Coyotes, for whom he played 612 games.

"Obviously, the game didn't go the way we wanted it to," Michalek said. "It was pretty emotional and I had a hard time getting it together once the game got going."

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'Yotes Notes: Schenn Scores First Goal of Season

Defenseman Luke Schenn chipped in goal in win over Vancouver

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

GLENDALE -- Defenseman Luke Schenn scored his first goal of the season on Thursday night as part of Arizona's 4-3 win over Vancouver at Gila River Arena.

"I'm not expected to go out there and score 20, but it would be nice to get one earlier than this," Schenn said. "Better late than never ... I don't have to go into next season thinking that I didn't score last year."

Schenn scored his goal at 6:00 of the first period when he slapped a rebound past Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller.

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'Yotes Notes: Ekman-Larsson Played with 'Heavy Heart'

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson's mom recently lost lengthy battle with cancer

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

The Coyotes played Tuesday's game at Dallas, a 3-2 loss in overtime, without defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who left the team for the rest of the season on Monday because of the death of his mother.

"When she passed away a few weeks ago, it was a struggle for him," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "I give him a ton of credit. He was a true professional trying to get through it. But now, this week is the funeral, so he left to go home (to Sweden)."

Ekman-Larsson's mother, Annika, battled cancer for some time, but Tippett said she and Ekman-Larsson's father encouraged their son to stay with the team and keep playing. He skated in all 79 games the Coyotes played before Tuesday.

"He was playing with a heavy heart," Tippett said.

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'Yotes Notes: Smith Solid in First Game After Illness

Goalie Mike Smith stopped 34 of 35 shots vs. Kings on Sunday

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

Goalie Mike Smith returned to the Coyotes net on Sunday night vs. Los Angeles at the Staples Center after an illness kept him from starting Friday's game vs. Washington.

Smith was nearly perfect in his return, making 34 saves in a 2-1 win over the Kings.

"It was nice to get back in," Smith said. "I've been battling a little bit of a bug lately, so I think the energy level isn't where I'd like it, but that's partly probably the end of the season and not feeling well for a little while. It was nice to get back in there and get a win and feel good about my game."

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'Yotes Notes: Dvorak, Burmistrov Lead Charge vs. Caps

Arizona scored season-high six goals on Friday night

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

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes scored a season-high six goals against the NHL's stingiest team on Friday night at Gila River Arena and snapped a four-game losing streak.

"I think the hardest thing for teams right now that play against us is they don't know what to expect from us," center Alexander Burmistrov said after Arizona's 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. "We're already out of the playoffs but we're trying to show to the coaches and the management that we want to be here."

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