Friday, December 16, 2011
It's Official: Coyle Is A Sea Dog
By Andrew McGilligan
The Saint John Sea Dogs have added an NHL-first rounder to the lineup.
Forward Charlie Coyle is set to join the Sea Dogs after playing one and a half seasons with Boston University. Coyle signed with the Dogs on Friday. The 1992-born forward hails from East Weymouth, Massachusetts and was named the Hockey East rookie of the year last season notching seven goals and 19 assists for a total of 26 points in 37 games.
This season, Coyle - listed as 6-2 and 207lbs. - was third in BU scoring with three goals and 11 assists in 16 games.
Coyle was selected in the first-round, 28th overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. His rights were then shipped to the Minnesota Wild as part of the deal that resulted in Brent Burns heading to the Sharks. As part of that deal, Minnesota received the Sharks first-round pick in 2011 which resulted in the Wild selecting Sea Dogs forward and Fredericton native Zack Phillips 28th overall, the same draft slot as Coyle one year earlier.
Coyle played for the US squad during last year's World Junior tournament and is one of eight returning players to this seasons team.
Early Friday afternoon, Mike McMahon, a sportswriter covering NCAA hockey for the Eagle-Tribune in the Merrimack Valley area, confirmed Coyle had decided to join the Sea Dogs despite being told by the Wild the team would sign him and assign him to Houston of the AHL. McMahon went on to say the Wild were fine with Coyle going either the AHL or junior hockey route.
McMahon described Coyle as a, "strong skater who is great around the net. A lot of skill. Can play a power or finesse game. Solid play all around." Hockey seems to run in his family as, according to USA Hockey, Coyle's cousins include five-time NHL all-star Tony Amonte and Bobby Sheehan who was selected by the Montreal Canadiens 32nd overall in the 1969 amateur draft and suited up for 310 NHL contests. Before skating with BU, Coyle played for the South Shore Kings.
This is not the first time Sea Dogs fans have waited to hear if an NCAA player would join the team, last season there was some speculation NY Rangers first-rounder Chris Kreider might join the squad after the World Junior tournament.
The move sounded plausible as Kreider's junior rights were property of the Sea Dogs who drafted him in the 19th round of the 2008 QMJHL entry draft. Kreider never materialized in a Saint John jersey, electing to stay at Boston College.