Thirty-six players ranging from 18 to 25 years old took the ice at Jobing.com Arena for this first time this season. For many, it was their first time skating at the home of the Phoenix Coyotes.
"It was unreal," said 2013 first round pick Max Domi about playing in Glendale for the first time, "it's an awesome rink. Beautiful."
In a sense, Domi verbalized the need for Saturday's one-hour practice; become acquainted with the facility and with being on the ice again before the real work begins. As the novelty of playing in a professional stadium subsides and players inch toward playing shape, the practices will be more intense and more telling.
"(It was a) good orientation," Head Coach Dave Tippett said, "not much to judge from that practice."
While that sentiment was echoed by General Manager Don Maloney, a couple players caught his eye. Both Andy Miele and Chris Brown were mentioned by name as standing out at Saturday's practice, including Maloney calling Miele, "the best player on the ice."
The 25-year-old forward attributed his day one success to his experience at previous Coyotes camps. "I know the NHL style of offense," Miele said, while also crediting the development staff with the Portland Pirates.
But after praising various players from around the roster, Maloney warned, "I wouldn't put too much stock (into today's practice)."
Day two of rookie camp begins at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday and will include a scrimmage sandwiched in between on-ice practices. Camp is free and open to the public (enter at gate 3).