Coyotes taking “steps forward as quick as possible” at Development Camp
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – 29 hockey players skated onto the ice rink at the Ice Den on Tuesday for the beginning of Arizona Coyotes’ Development Camp. They were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the start. At the end though, they were ready for the ice baths.
“The plan was to make them tired. I think we accomplished that,” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said. “We had lots of tempo, we had some stationary stuff where we worked on individual skills. The half-hour of games at the end, players get to show what they have. It’s small-spaced games, which, in the NHL, if you can’t play in the small space and play quick, you’re gonna be behind and that’s what we’re looking for.”
There are less players on Arizona’s camp roster than in previous years, and that’s by design. Tippett says it’s that way so the players can get “more individual attention.”
“More attention to the people that we think matter,” Tippett said. “We’re trying to fast-track some people to the NHL, so we gotta give them as much attention as possible.”
Everything with the Coyotes is about speed, not just on ice, but in the way they’re handling the younger talent they have on their roster. This is how serious Tippett is about bringing up the young puppies – he’s running the camp this year. That’s something that’s usually reserved for one of the assistant coaches, but with the sense of urgency, Tippett is in charge.
“We have to grow as quick as we can. We want to make sure everybody’s involved. We’ve gotta take steps forward as quick as possible and get hands on,” Tippett said. “I think it’s important for our whole staff to be here and get at it as quick as possible.”
Tippett says he’s never seen a team with as many open roster spots and opportunities for players to make an impact than he has with this year’s version of the Coyotes.
“We have open spots that we purposely left there for young players to come and take, and we need some of those players to step up and do that,” Tippett said.
One of those young players is actually an older one when it comes to the prospect camp, and that’s left winger Max Domi. Domi is taking part in his third development camp since being drafted by the team back in 2013.
Domi says he’s doing all he can to make the first-timers comfortable over the next couple of days, and let them figure out the rest on their own.
“I definitely remember the guys that have been through it before on my first go-round, and how much they helped you out with asking questions, and showing you what to do and what to expect,” Domi said.
Domi is taking the next few days to focus on himself and his game, and not so much worry about what everyone else is doing. If he can do that, then he’ll get himself in better position to grab one of those open roster spots Tippett talked about.
“You gotta push yourself as hard as you can, and as far as you can,” Domi said. “It’s pretty obvious how much young talent there is in this group. With the draft we just had, and some of the trades we made, it’s a pretty impressive group of guys. We’re excited and everyone’s looking forward to training camp.”
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