The Arizona Coyotes opened up their 2015-2016 Rookie Camp on Saturday afternoon at Gila River Arena. It was a light affair for the franchise’s young talent and was used as an opportunity for everyone to get acclimated.
“That was strictly to get used to your equipment, move the puck around and have some fun,” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said. “There was not much to be evaluated there and that’s the way it was meant to be.”
With the franchise in rebuilding mode, specifically after last season’s fire sale that saw the team trade away stalwarts like Keith Yandle and Antoine Vermette for draft picks and prospects, the Coyotes faithful will see a lot of young talent at Gila River Arena. Despite the rebuilding process Tippett isn’t guaranteeing roster spots for anyone, even highly touted draft picks.
“Nobody has made the team yet,” Tippett said. “To get in the NHL you have to earn you way there. It’s not earned by where you’re drafted. You earn your way by how you play. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young player or an old player, when you get to the NHL you play to win.”
The Coyotes Rookie Camp continues on Sunday, September 13 and Monday, September 14 at Gila River Arena. Rookie Camp run from 11 am to 12:50 pm and admission is free. After Rookie Camp in Glendale, AZ the team heads west for a pair of exhibition games against the Los Angeles Kings on September 15 and 16. The team will use the combination of camp and exhibitions games to get their young dudes in line with the NHL culture.
“When you bring them (rookies) into development camp in the summer everybody is nice, Tippett said. “Everybody is getting along, everybody is kumbaya and now it’s the real thing. You can get them a little bit educated on how we want to play.”