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Coyotes hold first practice of prospect development camp

Tuesday began the Phoenix Coyotes prospect development camp that will run through Thursday at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.

The camp features five former first-round picks from the last three years, plus all of the draft picks from the 2013 draft that took place in June.

For head coach Dave Tippett, this is the first chance to evaluate the new players and to see the improvements made by players who were not on the NHL roster last season.

“You are just trying to put names with faces,” Tippett said on Tuesday. “It is a good time for them to come in and get a chance to see how we do things in the organization.

“The guys that do come back to main camp will be familiar with the surroundings and they have an idea of the work that will have to be put in. It is a good week for them to get noticed.”

One of those players that will be trying to get noticed is 2010 first round pick defenseman Brandon Gormley.

The Coyotes have been strong at defense for the past few years, which gave Gormley time to develop. Tippett is expecting big improvements from the young defencemen.

“I think he is a player that will come into camp and show what he can do,” Tippett stated. “He had a very good playoff for Portland last season, good season, but playoffs he played very well for them.”

Gormley scored five goals and notched 24 assists during Portland’s regular season.

Another first round pick that is expected to make a strong showing in camp is defenseman Connor Murphy, the 20th overall pick in 2010.

Murphy is coming off a knee surgery that kept him out of play last season. He has had a set-back with injuries the last few years and is expected to make his debut in the professional league (AHL) this upcoming season.

“It was great to get back and see all the guys,” Murphy stated after practice. “It was nice to get out there and get the rust off.

“You want to prove yourself and its an evaluation and a way for coaches to look at you. You want to make a good impression.”

The development camp is free to the public and the on-ice sessions run from 2:15-3:45 PM through Thursday.