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PROSPECT DEVELOPMENT CAMP BEGINS

Friday, 07.09.2010 / 8:07 PM / Features
By Anthony Perez | Dave Vest
PEORIA -- Twenty-two of the top young players within the Coyotes organization have gathered in the Valley this weekend to participate in the team's annual Prospect Development Camp.

The camp, which started Friday, includes on-ice practices, off-ice conditioning, nutrition lessons and team-building exercises. The remaining on-ice sessions are Saturday (7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.) and Monday (11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.) at Polar Ice in Peoria. Fans are invited to attend.

During Friday’s on-ice session, Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving talked about the camp and how valuable it is for the prospects and the future of the organization.

Coyotes prospect Chris Brown takes a shot Friday. Photo by Norm Hall.
“For the new guys, the guys that were just drafted, it’s a chance to bring them in,” Treliving said. “And really for all the players, it’s a chance to bring them in and show them what we want, and what it is to be a Coyote. We tell them what we expect, both on and off the ice.”

He added, “We look at this as a first step to building a team down the line. They get to meet our staff members, develop camaraderie, and do some team-building events. It’s a chance to come in and say, ‘OK, at some point down the road we hope all these players play for us, but here’s what it’s going to take to play for us.’”

Treliving watched Friday’s 90-minute session from the stands along with Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney and Director of Amateur Scouting Keith Gretzky. Head Coach Dave Tippett is expected to watch the prospects at one of the later on-ice workouts.

After Friday’s session, Maloney raved about the defensemen at the camp, including Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the sixth overall pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Ekman-Larsson, whose skating skills stood out on Friday, said it was challenging being back on the ice in the middle of the summer, but that it was a lot of fun.

Ray Edwards maps out a drill at camp. Photo by Norm Hall.
All five of the players the Coyotes selected at 2010 NHL Entry Draft are at camp, including Brandon Gormley, the defenseman Phoenix chose with the 13th overall selection.

“The first ice time was great,” Gormley said. “We’re all pretty happy to be here, especially me, being my first time here.”

San Antonio Rampage Head Coach Ray Edwards is running the on-ice sessions. After Friday’s, Edwards spoke about how it’s a pleasure to be working with some of the organization’s top prospects.

“It’s just really exciting to be out there with them,” Edwards said. “We saw some of the guys who have been here for a few years and it’s good to see the young kids that we just picked up. It’s good to get them all together and start the process of the season.”

Edwards said he sensed a lot of enthusiasm on the ice during Friday’s workout.

“They’re all excited to be out there,” Edwards said. “We’re all excited to be out there with them and as the next two or three days go on it gets better and better because you start to build relationships with them.”

RELATED CONTENT:

► Click here to watch a video of the first day of Prospect Development Camp
► Click here to view a photo gallery of the first day of Prospect Development Camp
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