Wednesday, the Boston Bruins acquired forward Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild. The Wild received forward Ryan Donato and a conditional fifth-round draft pick in return. The Bruins were on the trade market for a while and it seems they will continue their search for more offensive help. According to reports, Coyle has been on the Bruins radar all season long. Why did Boston make this move? Have they upgraded their roster? How can he fit into their system?
Boston Bruins Got Reinforcement in Charlie Coyle
The Bruins had two basic needs heading into the Trade Deadline. Boston needed a third line centre and a second line right-winger. Coyle is versatile and can play both centre and right wing. It would be very wise for the Bruins to use Coyle as their third line centre to start. The Massachusetts native is expected to play his first game for the Bruins on Saturday against the Blues in St. Louis.
Charlie Coyle was originally selected as 28th choice overall in the 2011 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks. Later, he was traded to Minnesota in a move featuring Brent Burns heading to San Jose. Coyle has played 479 games in the NHL with the Wild and collected 91 goals and 151 assists for 242 points. In the playoffs, Coyle skated in 44 games with Minnesota recording 15 points. His contract runs through the 2019-2020 season with a cap hit of $3.2 million per year.
Coyle put up a career-high 56 points in the 2016-17 season. Ever since that breakout campaign, Coyle has been struggling a little bit in Minnesota. He had to miss 16 games last season, and collected just 37 points. This time around, Coyle has just 28 points in 60 games. In acquiring Ryan Donato, the Wild are looking to the future. Donato is a talented forward with offensive potential.
Coyle Makes The Bruins Instantly Better
The Wild are experiencing an up-and-down season. They have been inconsistent, going on streaks of playing solid hockey for few games, followed by very deep slumps. Coyle is currently on a seven-game pointless drought. For the majority of the season, the 26-year-old forward has skated on the right wing of the Wild’s top line. In his last game with Minnesota, which ended in a 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, Coyle played on the first line with Eric Staal and Jason Zucker.
Giving his struggles in the current season, it would make more sense for the Bruins to use Coyle as a centre. There is a huge need for a third line center in Boston. They have a terrific top line, even without injured right wing David Pastrnak. Their second line has been rolling as of late. David Krejci is on a five-game point streak and Jake Debrusk is on a five-game goal streak. The fourth line has been solid as well. Chris Wagner set a new career high in goals (8) and Sean Kuraly has respectable 17 points.
The third line has been missing for quite some time now in Boston. The second line can be made better by either inserting young players like Karson Kuhlman or Peter Cehlarik or by making another trade. The third line issues could not have been solved with internal options. The Bruins have already tried a number of players on that centre position, including Donato, but nothing really worked. They have been searching for a solution since losing Riley Nash to free agency last summer.
Coyle A Non-Rental Help at Center For Boston
Trent Frederic, the Bruins current third line centre, has played 11 games in this, his rookie season. He is still looking for his first NHL point. Coyle brings instant help for the Bruins. They shouldn’t be tempted to use him on the wing. In the last 13 games, the Bruins third line has produced just one point. Even that came on via a power-play assist by David Backes in a win over the Sharks past Monday.
Boston can insert a player like Charlie Coyle, who isn’t experiencing his best season but still carries 10 goals and 18 assists, it should help make the line work. Coyle has 24 points of his 28 points at even strength. He also has a 50.9 percent Corsi-For at even strength this season. His play in the bottom-six can provide possession and secondary scoring for the Bruins.
A change of scenery may also help Coyle. The American forward shifts from a seemingly sinking ship in Minnesota to a team riding a seven-game win streak and a 12-game point streak. If his time in Boston pans out well, he may opt for a contract extension as he is still just 26, at least for the next nine days.
Main Photo: DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 5: Charlie Coyle #3 of the Minnesota Wild during the first period of a game against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on October 5, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)