On the third and final day of 2011 Development Camp for the Phoenix Coyotes, a rather large crowd was on hand to see the prospects that would shape the future of the team. Having not attended the first two days, I can't make comparisons regarding the day-to-day play of the players, and really, at a camp such as this, there isn't much to say on those regards. Nobody on the ice looked completely out of place and while certain players showed sparks of talent that showed why they are closer to NHL-ready than others, nobody was clinching a roster spot during these three days in July.
What was nice to see: the kids having a good time running through the drills and interacting with the fans at the Polar Ice in Peoria that came out to observe. Also nice to see, the approximately 500 or so fans in attendance on a balmy 109 degree Sunday in July - it's not exactly the snowbirds from Alberta filling those seats.
Seeing as I spent most of the time just trying to figure out who was who on the ice, I don't really have a lot to say about any particular players other than a few general observations on players that either stood out to me or that I was surprised by something I saw.
First, both Jacob DeSerres and Louis Domingue had fairly good days on the ice (i.e., not a ton of shots were hitting the back of the net on either end, particular when they went to the more scrimmage-like drills). In fact, other than a breakaway goal by Andy Miele during the 3-on-3 portion of the scrimmage drills, I'm not sure that either goalie allowed a goal.
Now, that being said, the ice was fairly horrendous and players could not keep a bouncing puck under control to make good passes or get off solid shots. In fact, if there was one thing that impressed me about Miele and defensemen Maxim Goncharov and Brandon Gormley, it was their consistent ability to settle the puck down and make good passes on the choppy ice.
Another player I was following closely was Zac Larraza, the Scottsdale native who was drafted in the 7th round of this year's entry draft by the Desert Dogs. Although Larraza certainly needs to fill out, he has pretty decent hands and good size - he scored at one point off a rebound showing good hands to maneuver the puck away from Domingue before banging it home - and then, of course, Larraza fell flat on his face taking a shootout attempt towards the end to the laughter of his teammates.
Carl was also in attendance and spoke with Assistant G.M. Brad Treliving after the drills were completed:
Carl also spoke with Jacob De Serres before the team boarded the bus to end camp:
And with that, no further hockey in the Valley until rookie camp opens in September. We'll have continuous coverage of any free agent signings or trades and thoughts on the 2010-11 campaign and previews of the 2011-12 season in the weeks ahead.