Ultra-driven Coyle doesn't rest on laurels

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 29, 2013 - 8:15 AM

At age 21, he has impressed teammates with a veteran’s commitment and professionalism.

 

Charlie Coyle’s locker-room stall is situated right next to Zach Parise’s station. This allows the young talent to absorb every detail of what it takes to be a pro like Parise.

But it didn’t take long last season for the Wild’s Parise to realize Coyle is a lot more mature than the average 20-, now 21-year-old.

“He plays the game the right way, but most of all, you can tell he takes care of himself off the ice and does the right things and wants nothing more than to be a top player in this league,” Parise said. “He keeps quiet and just works hard, and those guys make it and those guys have good careers.”

Parise doesn’t want to go as far as to say Coyle is a future NHL star. Not because he doesn’t believe it, but because Parise thinks it’s wrong — much like coach Mike Yeo — to heap too much praise, and thus pressure, on a second-year pro.

“But if Charlie keeps developing the way that he has, I think he’ll have a long, great career,” Parise said. “Even watching him now compared to last year, he’s moving better, he’s shooting better, you can see the extra confidence he has. You can tell that in just half a year last year, he saw what he has to do to get better and then went and worked on it this summer and came back and looks great.”

That’s precisely what Coyle, a self-described gym rat, did. The 2010 San Jose Sharks first-round pick worked out and skated five days a week with NHLers (such as the Rangers’ Brian Boyle), AHLers and up-and-coming prospects such as 16-year-old defenseman Noah Hanifin, whom Coyle is convinced will be a top-five pick in the draft in a few years.

Coyle’s goal this offseason was to get stronger while improving his speed. Mission accomplished, he says. He worked with a skating coach, a personal trainer, stepped into a boxing ring and even took up yoga to improve his flexibility and balance.

Coyle scored three goals in five preseason games and proved to be a 200-foot player, as many coaches like to say.

“I want to be a better player this year and contribute more this year,” Coyle said, more than aware that he and a lot of Wild youngsters will have to pick up the slack of lost veterans Matt Cullen, Devin Setoguchi, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Cal Clutterbuck.

“That’s when you notice and realize we should be able to play a big role and we have to. In the offseason, it makes you push a little more to get that much better so you can play a good role on this team and be a factor out there.”

Coyle, an East Weymouth, Mass., native, returned home last summer, lived with his parents, ate home-cooked meals, avoided getting grounded and hung out with buddies and cousins.

He got a call from Yeo, who told him to prepare for a potential position change — moving from right wing with Parise and Mikko Koivu to second-line center, where he would replace Cullen.

Coyle wasn’t intimidated. He said it seems every other year in his career he’s switched from wing to center. He played center for the U.S. at world juniors and switched back and forth at Boston University. At Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where he was playoff MVP, Coyle played right wing but took faceoffs.

“I think my whole career I’ve done a pretty good job adjusting to any position or any area of the game at any time of the game,” Coyle said. “I just want to be a complete player that does all the little things, and if you do that, the points will come.

Coyle has been working with teammate Zenon Konopka, who has a career .590 faceoff winning percentage (first among active NHLers), on draws. Konopka has given Coyle tips, mostly not to try to “reinvent the wheel” if he loses a couple.

“He’s had a heck of a camp,” General Manager Chuck Fletcher said. “The task now for Charlie and all these young players is to continue to play well as the competition gets tougher. The veteran players play much harder during the regular season than the preseason, so [the kids] have to lift their play as the level of competition goes up.”

Etc.

  • related content

  • Chart: Key dates for the NHL, Wild

    Saturday September 28, 2013

    Opening weekTuesday: NHL regular season begins with three games. The Chicago Blackhawks will raise their Stanley Cup banner before their...

  • Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle (3) and St. Louis Blues center Jaden Schwartz (9) chase the puck during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

  • Coyle

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 4
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 5 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 6
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Hughes 2
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 8 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 12
Boston - WP: C. Buchholz 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 0
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 6
Texas - LP: N. Cotts 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Veras 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 6 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: P. Neshek 9
Oakland - LP: S. Kazmir 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Milwaukee - LP: K. Lohse 5 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 15
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 7 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 1
Washington - LP: T. Roark 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: C. Anderson 6
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 1
Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Red Bull New York 0 FINAL
D.C. 2
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
Chivas USA 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Phoenix 77 FINAL
Minnesota 82
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 local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close