Charlie Coyle sits atop the NHL leader board in preseason points as he notched a goal and assists in the last game played by the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. Coyle currently has a goal and five assists, which have him as one of three players tied for the league lead in scoring.
His five assists are also the undisputed best in the NHL.
It should be noted, that Coyle also hasn’t participated in every single one of the Wild’s five preseason games so far, which gives his scoring a little more relevancy. His most notable game this preseason was last Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets where he notched three assists.
Coyle is looking to the take the next step in his NHL career, as he has never scored more than 15 goals in an NHL season, while setting a career high in assists last season at 24. As the Wild’s third line center this season, he will need to increase those numbers yet again to help take this team to the postseason. We have seen a tremendous amount of potential out of Coyle just from a spectator standpoint, and his size has always been intriguing at 6’3 and 221 pounds.
The 2010 first round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks, Coyle will look to be a force as one of the Wild’s bottom six forwards this season. He will man a line with the likes of Jason Zucker, Justin Fontaine, Thomas Vanek, or even Jordan Schroeder, with the injury that was just sustained by Fontaine. It’s no secret that he is an assist specialist and a player maker, so him and either Zucker or Vanek could create some magic this season on the third line. The goal has to be to get at least one of his wings to at least 20 goals this year, and I think he is up to the task, especially with his play so far in the preseason.
Coyle has received a mixed bag of reviews, to him being proclaimed a first round bust, while others say he is among the most talented young players in the NHL. One thing’s for sure, his play so far in the preseason is indicative of him potentially stepping up and hitting a career high in numbers this season.
As mentioned earlier, the Wild certainly need him to do so to make a post season run.