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.

• Jake Dowell and Tyler Cuma cleared waivers. As of Saturday, Dowell remained on the Wild roster. The Wild had the day off Saturday, so injury updates and potentially a roster move could come Sunday before the team heads to Duluth for two days.

• Johan Gustafsson was reassigned to Iowa, so it appears the Wild is not concerned about the health of goalies Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding.

  • related content

  • Video: Wild Minute: Roster move coming today

    Sunday September 29, 2013

    From his rocking chair, Michael Russo looked ahead to today, when the Wild heads to Duluth.

  • 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 Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 FINAL
Seattle 4
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 FINAL
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 FINAL
Colorado 3
Univ of Minnesota 1 FINAL
Minnesota 3
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 105
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Orlando 100
Cleveland 120 FINAL
Toronto 112
Utah 84 FINAL
Boston 85
Charlotte 115 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Denver 100 FINAL
Minnesota 85
Detroit 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
LA Lakers 94 FINAL
Miami 100
Philadelphia 118 FINAL
Oklahoma City 123
Memphis 102 FINAL
Houston 100
Sacramento 85 FINAL
San Antonio 112
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
Golden State 102
Portland 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Ottawa 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
NY Rangers 1 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 2
Pittsburgh 1 FINAL
Colorado 3
Montreal 1 FINAL
Anaheim 3
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 80
Ohio State 77 FINAL
Penn State 67
Maine 66 FINAL
Albany 83
Duquesne 81 FINAL
Fordham 66
George Washington 67 FINAL
George Mason 51
Tennessee 78 FINAL
LSU 63
Notre Dame 71 FINAL
Louisville 59
SE Missouri St 74 FINAL
Morehead State 79
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Mount St Marys 58
Hartford 63 FINAL
New Hampshire 67
Wagner 68 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Long Island 70 FINAL
St Francis-NY 79
La Salle 50 FINAL
Saint Josephs 55
Providence 79 FINAL
Seton Hall 66
UCF 45 FINAL
South Florida 74
Binghamton 57 FINAL
Stony Brook 62
UMBC 39 FINAL
Vermont 66
Sacred Heart 85 FINAL
Bryant 91
Richmond 56 FINAL
Massachusetts 53
Wake Forest 51 FINAL
Duke 94
Purdue 66 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Miami-Florida 67 FINAL
Pittsburgh 63
St Bonaventure 64 FINAL
Saint Louis 48
New Mexico St 69 FINAL
TX-Pan American 48
Houston 68 FINAL
Tulane 63
Howard 62 FINAL
NJIT 71
TCU 70 FINAL
Oklahoma State 82
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
Tulsa 47
USC 74 FINAL
UCLA 85
Miss State 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 66
Utah State 53 FINAL
Wyoming 76
St Johns 67 FINAL
Marquette 51
SIU Edwardsville 66 FINAL
Eastern Ill 78
Air Force 66 FINAL
Fresno State 68
Nebraska 57 FINAL
Illinois 69
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Nevada 62
Boise State 68 FINAL
San Jose St 51
San Diego St 60 FINAL
UNLV 58
Oregon 65 FINAL
Oregon State 62
UC Santa Barbara 98 FINAL
Hawaii 90
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 55 FINAL
St Bonaventure 49
Auburn 71 FINAL
Florida 49
Penn State 63 FINAL
Indiana 68
Clemson 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 80
Davidson 63 FINAL
La Salle 74
Loyola-Maryland 46 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Boston U 48 FINAL
Colgate 58
Coll of Charleston 58 FINAL
James Madison 107
Delaware 76 FINAL
Elon 77
Drexel 58 FINAL
Northeastern 42
Hofstra 75 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 76
Towson 56 FINAL
William & Mary 68
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Akron 67
Ball State 85 FINAL
Central Michigan 69
Buffalo 55 FINAL
Bowling Green 47
Western Mich 65 FINAL
Eastern Michigan 74
Ohio U 69 FINAL
Kent State 56
Youngstown St 62 FINAL
Cleveland State 73
Illinois-Chicago 54 FINAL
Wright State 74
Alabama 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 66
Detroit 60 FINAL
Milwaukee 56
Purdue 58 FINAL
Wisconsin 56
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: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close