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DDB: Coyotes prospect heads to ESPYs

GLENDALE – While most of the Coyotes prospects headed home on Monday after the team’s annual development camp, center Andy Miele started making his way to Los Angeles for Wednesday’s ESPY extravaganza.

Miele, who won the 2011 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player, is one of five finalists for the Best Male College Athlete ESPY. Miele, who notched an NCAA-high 71 points in 39 games for Miami University last season, is going up against Auburn’s Cam Newton (football), UConn’s Kemba Walker (basketball), BYU’s Jimmer Fredette (basketball) and Cornell’s Rob Pannell (lacrosse).

ESPY winners are determined by fan voting. Being a realist, Miele knows he is a long shot to beat out star athletes in more popular sports, but he hasn’t given up hope of an upset just yet. Check out his tweet from earlier today:

“Just spent 45 dollars on a hair cut, I better win this @ESPYs award.”

If you’re not following Miele on Twitter, I recommend you do so. His handle is @Andy_Miele.

Miele’s 71 points were 11 more than any other college player in the nation last season and the most since 2002-03. Click this link to watch Miele discuss his senstaional season, the ESPYs and more: http://video.coyotes.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=868&id=120450

FYI, the 2011 ESPY Awards will air live on ESPN on Wednesday, July 13 at 6 p.m. (Arizona time) from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

• Several fans have written me asking why the prospects did not hike Camelback Mountain this year as part of the Prospect Development Camp. The answer is because of the poor air quality in the Valley last week after the massive dust storm – or haboob, if you prefer – that blew through town the night before the camp started.

But don’t worry – the prospects didn’t get to sleep in the day the hike was supposed to have happened. After cancelling the hike the night before, Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Mike Bahn came up with a Plan B – running the stairs inside Jobing.com Arena while most of us were enjoying some shut-eye.

• Head Coach Dave Tippett told reporters last week that he has already spoken to a few people about filling Dave King’s spot behind the bench. King last week swapped his assistant coach title for development coach. Stay tuned for news on that one…

• Here are my top three observations from the Prospects Development Camp:

1. The Coyotes are extremely fortunate that 12 teams passed on defenseman Brandon Gormley at last year’s draft.

2. Miele is a gifted playmaker with soft hands who plays with a healthy, “I’m-not-too-small-to-play-hockey” mentality.

3. Connor Murphy, whose father Gord played 14 NHL seasons, looks like a natural on the ice.

• Everyone in Arizona seems to have All-Star fever what with Major League Baseball’s Midsummer Classic taking place at Chase Field on Tuesday night.

With baseball in mind, click this link to watch new Coyotes goalie Mike Smith taking batting practice not too long ago with the Tampa Bay Rays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDyWBy3zGr8

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