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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."

Pierre-Olivier Joseph, whom Arizona selected with the 23rd overall pick at the NHL Draft last week, made his debut in a Coyotes practice sweater during his on-ice session at AZ Ice Peoria. 

"It's something I've been looking forward to forever," Joseph said. "... I had the chance to meet everyone and everyone seems pretty nice and obviously I'm more than happy to be here ... This is the first path to playing in the NHL. We have a long road in front of us."

Other notable camp attendees include 2015 first-round draft pick Nick Merkley, 2017 second-round pick Filip Westerlund, and recently acquired NCAA goalies Merrick Madsen and Hunter Miska.

"I think it's one of the best groups in the League, if not the best," Chayka said. "I see a good group ... We've got three players that have already played some games in the National Hockey League, so that's good leadership for these guys. They know what it takes and how hard it is."

The camp continues on Tuesday with two more on-ice sessions at AZ Ice Peoria from 9 a.m. - noon. The public is invited to attend at no charge.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Four chances to beat the heat and catch #Yotes prospects in action this week. ������ [ Admission is free! ] pic.twitter.com/FhNhGkqrfx

• The Coyotes announced on Monday that they have tendered qualifying offers to five restricted free agents: forward Nick Cousins, forward Anthony Duclair, forward Tyler Gaudet, goalie Marek Langhamer, and forward Jordan Martinook.

Meanwhile, the team did not tender qualifying offers to forwards Alex Burmistrov, Grayson Downing, Peter Holland, Josh Jooris, Jeremy Morin, Mitch Moroz and Branden Troock. These players are now unrestricted free agents, free to sign with any team.

• Chayka said the search is on for a new head coach to replace Dave Tippett, who left the team last week. 

"We're trying to get someone who's a good communicator, someone who's looking to play fast, play up-tempo, use some of our young talent and put them in key positions to succeed," Chayka said. "It's not an easy task to replace a 'Tip,' but that's the job ... It's probably as big a decision a manager can make, in terms of their head coach. I'm hopeful we get it right and get someone that can pull all these different pieces together that we've put on the table, and catch lightning in a bottle and do something special here."

• Joseph is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday night at the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals baseball game at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.

• Strome, the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, attended this year's draft in Chicago last weekend as a spectator in support of his younger brother, Matthew, who was drafted 106th overall by Philadelphia.

"It was one of the proudest moments I've ever had in my life," Strome said. "I know it sounds kind of cliche, but to see how hard he's worked and how much he's gone through, he's always been kind of in our shadow and it's nice for him to kind of have some spotlight now ... I'm really happy for him."

Strome's older brother Ryan, of course, also is an NHL draft pick (fifth overall in 2011).

Video: Chayka Q&A at Development Camp

Video: Joseph Q&A at Development Camp

Video: Strome Q&A at Development Camp

 

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