'Sir Charles' aiming to take next step

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2012 - 6:54 AM

Charlie Coyle has the size, skills and pedigree, but he knows that hard work is his best route to making the Wild's roster.

hide

Charlie Coyle (3) hovered around the goal last year as Team USA played Sweden in the World Junior Hockey Championship bronze medal game in Buffalo, N.Y.

Photo: David Duprey, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

All in all, it was a good move for Charlie Coyle.

Coyle is a 6-2, 222-pound winger who started last season at Boston University but decided, shortly before going to play in the world junior championship, that he would move north to New Brunswick to play for Saint John in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

He finished the season with a slew of points, an impressive postseason run for the Sea Dogs, a heightened sense of confidence and his very first nickname: Sir Charles.

It was Zack Phillips who shared this story. Phillips and Coyle were linemates for the Sea Dogs. And, thanks to the Wild's trade that sent Brent Burns to San Jose for Devin Setoguchi, Coyle's rights and the first-round draft pick that became Phillips, they are together at the Wild's developmental camp this week.

"We teased him about it," Phillips said. "We used to call him Sir Charles all the time."

It's a royal nickname for a player who quickly became a royal pain for anyone playing the Sea Dogs. Coyle has a couple of assets that can't be taught. He's big and he's strong. Add to that quick feet, a heavy shot and a willingness to use all of the above make him a player to watch this fall.

Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher has worked hard to get the organization to the point where no player had to be pushed to the NHL too early. Quality prospects have been drafted or acquired, and the NHL roster has been enhanced, most notably by the additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter through free agency.

That means there aren't a lot of roster spots that figure to be open this fall. But don't make the odds on Coyle too long.

He has NHL power forward size, and he has ability. Perhaps most important, he plays a very self-aware game.

"That's the most important thing for him," said Brad Bombardir, the Wild's director of player development. "He knows what his game is. He knows what gives him success, and he establishes himself early in games -- physically getting in on the forecheck, puck protection. He's strong on the half wall in the defensive zone. He manages the puck really well."

In 23 regular-season games with the Sea Dogs, Coyle had 15 goals and 23 assists. A typical goal would start with him going into the corner and getting the puck. He would send it out to Phillips, then move toward the net. Phillips would give it back for that quick, heavy shot.

"If you got it to him anywhere out front, right to the top of the circles, there was a pretty good chance it was going in,'' Phillips said.

Coyle -- with his new nickname -- was really hot in the playoffs. Saint John won the league championship and Coyle was the playoff MVP, getting 15 goals and 19 assists in 17 games.

And now Coyle is ready to take another step. He'll go home to Massachusetts for a couple of weeks after this camp ends, then return to train here in August. His goal, of course, is to be wearing a Wild jersey this fall.

It won't be easy. There aren't a lot of spots open, and Mikael Granlund figures to take one. The competition will be fierce among the young players invited to training camp. "Charlie is a big guy, a power forward," Wild assistant GM Brent Flahr said. "Then you have Jason Zucker and his speed and shot. Or a guy like Johan Larsson, who has an overall game, or Brett Bulmer, who worked hard, came here in incredible shape. These guys are all motivated to play sooner rather than later. We may have some tough decisions to make."

Coyle continues to work on strength, knowing how many NHL players can match him there. He needs to work on shooting more quickly and increasing his skating speed. How much he improves in those areas could determine whether he begins his pro career with the Houston Aeros in the AHL or with the Wild.

"You want to set your goals high," Coyle said. "Everybody wants to play for the big team. I'll keep working to get that. Whatever my hard work gets me, that's where I'll deserve to be."

  • WILD DEVELOPMENTAL CAMP

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close