It was announced last night by the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo that the Minnesota Wild has called up hulking power forward, and top forward prospect, Charlie Coyle from the Houston Aeros. Coyle is the big-bodied power forward with an elite skill-set that Minnesota desperately needs on the second line. Drafted 28th overall in 2010 by the San Jose Sharks, he was acquired by Minnesota in the trade that saw Brent Burns moved for Coyle, Devin Setoguchi and San Jose’s first round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. After the draft, Coyle, a big 6’2” 210-pound power forward, played a season and a half with Boston University, scoring 10 goals and 30 assists for 40 points in 53 games and coming home with the Hockey East Rookie of the Year title.
Thanks, in part, to the persuasion of fellow top Wild prospect Zack Phillips—the prospect Minnesota drafted with the first round pick obtained from San Jose—Coyle felt the best way to continue his hockey career would be to play major junior with Phillips’ Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. In 23 regular season games and 17 post season games with the Sea Dogs, Coyle spent the majority of his time on a line with Phillips and Florida Panthers top prospect and 2011 3rd overall pick Jonathan Huberdeau. In the regular season and post season combined, Coyle piled up a monstrous 30 goals and 42 assists for 72 points in 40 games. The Dogs won the league championship and Coyle would be named tournament MVP.
Coyle turned pro this past fall, and has notched 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points, 22 penalty minutes and a negative-9 rating in 44 games. Coyle, and fellow top Wild prospect Jason Zucker, came into the season with a chemistry that was already present due to playing together on the top line for Team USA as the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships. The two of them have played quite well together and had great chemistry with No. 1 Wild prospect Mikael Granlund during the lockout, as well as fellow top prospect Johan Larsson, who has taken over top line center duties for the Aeros with Granlund centering the second line with the big club.
As you can see, Coyle has certainly made a great case to be the first offensive call up of the year. He is currently on his way to join the team in Phoenix for Monday night’s matchup with the Coyotes. Coyle will make his long-awaited NHL debut tomorrow night when the Wild hit the ice at Jobing.com Arena.