The NHL entry draft is the beginning of the journey to the NHL. This journey starts shortly after the draft, and in the following weeks prospects are invited to attend their new team’s Prospect Development Camp. Each team in the league organizes a camp in the weeks following the draft. The camps are used to check on the development of draft prospects from prior drafts and to evaluate what the new prospects can bring to the table. It’s also a valuable time for prospects to learn the culture of the organizations they hope to one day be a part of on the NHL level, as well as the city they could call home.
The Arizona Coyotes held their prospect camp at Gila River Arena. The camp took place from July 4 to July 8 culminating in a intra-squad scrimmage that drew a crowd of 3,500 attendees on July 8. Practices on the ice were open to the public which allowed for the team’s hockey operations staff to observe prospects performances within the drills. These drills were designed to test their fundamental skills and motivate the players to elevate their play as much as possible. The ultimate goal for each player in attendance is to earn an invite to the main training camp in the fall.
Development camps are the fans’ chance to see first hand what the team’s top prospects can do, whether they are just entering the system or are returning to camp after another year of development. There was no shortage of talent displayed on the ice as the camp highlighted their incredibly deep prospect pool and featured new additions in Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun as well as returning players Christian Dvorak, Dylan Strome, Conor Garland, Christian Fischer, and many more.