2012 Minnesota Wild Prospects: #3 - Charlie Coyle

Charlie Coyle
Right Wing, 6'2" 207 lbs
Boston University (Hockey East) 14 points (3G-11A) in 16 games/Saint John (QMJHL) 38 points (15G-23A) in 23 games

It seems like yesterday but I remember sitting next to Dan and Tim at the Xcel Energy Center during the 2011 NHL Draft and hearing the bombshell announcement by Gary Bettman (I'll pause for a second so you can boo) that Brent Burns was traded to San Jose. The majority of the crowd was in stunned silence outside of a whoosh of "whoas" after the fan favorite's name was announced but there were quite a few people cheering when Devin Setoguchi was named as a piece coming back. Then it was silence again, except for Dan, when Charlie Coyle's name came up.

(No one actually cheered for the 28th overall pick at the time but we were all happy to call the Wild picking Zack Phillips an hour later.)

Nearly sixteen months later there is plenty to cheer about the former top Sharks prospect who was the piece that got the deal done for Wild General manager Chuck Fletcher. Coyle came over to the Minnesota prospect pool as the reigning Hockey East freshman of the year, having put up 26 points in 37 games for Boston University.

In addition, Coyle played for Team USA in the World Junior Championships where he scored 6 points (2G-4A) in 6 games and showed that among players his age, Charlie is much more developed physically. It's a facet of his game which helped the tough EJHL to NCAA transition but despite that, he is also able to play a finesse style and is a smart player who makes his teammates better.

Coyle's (in the words of Colton Gillies) "man body" was put further on display after the Terrier left BU mid-season and joined Zack Phillips and the Saint John Sea Dogs after this year's WJC. He handled the adjustment from NCAA to the Q well enough to lead the league in postseason scoring. Although the Sea Dogs eventually fell short of repeating as Memorial Cup champions, Coyle became the first American to be named playoff MVP since Pat LaFontaine in 1982-1983.

(In addition, Sir Charles also became royalty thanks to the good folks at Sea Dogs blog Station Nation and the QMJHL website.)

While he may not have the same explosive first step that other players in the prospect pool have, Coyle's skating is not a liability. He is tough on his feet and at a listed 6'2", 207 lbs (although may be closer to 220) can protect the puck well against opponents.

This year the 20 year-old is in Houston and making the adjustment to pro hockey. Although the league is currently locked out, Coyle is one of the more NHL-ready prospects in the pipeline. There are questions about his offensive upside being elite but between his size, vision and skills Charlie has more than enough weapons to make an impact with the Wild.

And more importantly, have more than Dan cheering for him.

Previous 2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Articles:
#4 - Mathew Dumba
#5 - Johan Larsson
#6 - Matt Hackett
#7 - Brett Bulmer
#8 - Jason Zucker
#9 - Zack Phillips
#10 - Mario Lucia
#11 - Johan Gustafsson
#12 - Darcy Kuemper
#13 - Erik Haula
#14 - Daniel Gunnarsson
#15 - Raphael Bussieres
#16 - Kris Foucault
#17 - Nick Seeler
#18 - Tyler Cuma
#19 - Chay Genoway
#20 - Tyler Graovac
Honorable Mentions

Photo Credit: Vincent Muzik/SMI


  1. Those numbers in the Q are awfully suspect, because he just man-handled little boys. He won't be doing that in the NHL, tho it will be interesting to see how he does in that part of the game at the AHL level.

    Still, he has the #1 most important thing you look for in a guy with a power forward game, and often don't find and instead start making lame excuses about puck luck. . . he can actually FINISH. I'm not ready to hang a "young Owen Nolan" label on him, but I like his chances of being a solid Top-6 guy for a decade or more in the NHL.

    1. Its not so much who he played against, its how he played- that he literally just manhandled everyone.

  2. Guillaume Latendresse with better fitness and possibly not quite as good hands.

    1. I see him more as a Jonathan Toews/Joe Thornton/Dany Heatley or maybe a Heatley/Brodziak/Clutterbuck hybrid. The scoring touch of Heatley with the physicality of Brodzy and Clutter. But, then again, that's just my opinion.

    2. Charlie, is that you? :D