Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Prospects of interest (2nd Round): Charlie Coyle

The next installment of Bubbling Under's prospects of interest segment looks at a big versatile forward who has likely spent a few family dinners across the table from former NHLer Tony Amonte.

Charlie Coyle is a 6'2" 202lb right-handed forward committed to Boston University next year.

The rankings:

THN: 33
ISS: 27

Coyle is primarily a center, but some have suggested he'll be more effective as a winger (listed as RW) at higher levels. His ability to muscle smaller players off the puck along the boards is a strength, writes Redline Report's Kyle Woodlief (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/columnist/woodlief/2010-06-01-forward-prospects_N.htm). He's a hard-working player who will be responsible in both ends of the ice.

He's a self-described weight room junkie, which was likely the cause of his stellar performances at the recent NHL draft combine, remarks The Terrier Hockey Fan Blog (http://terrierhockey.blogspot.com/2010/06/bourque-named-mvp-as-hershey-repeats.html). The Oilers have a couple of NHLers who themselves are fitness freaks, with varying degrees of on-ice success (think Shawn Horcoff versus Ethan Moreau here), so I'm unsure if this is necessarily a positive for Coyle. He could go to BU and add another 15-20 pounds to his frame, which might make him very tough to handle coming down the wing in about 4 years.

His offensive upside may not be enough to warrant a top-six spot on an NHL team, but like Riley Nash in the 2007 draft he's going to be an NHLer once he leaves school. More of a playmaker type than a scorer, he uses his teammates well and is creative with his puckhandling, writes Woodlief. He's one of the safest bets in this year's draft. Central Scouting compares him to former NHLer Bob Sweeney (639 NHL games; best offensive season 80GP 15-33-48 115PIM). Not exactly a flashy player, but one of those character bottom-6 guys every successful team employs.

Important to note that Edmonton was one of his scheduled interviews during the combine and are among the 23 teams to interview him (http://www.hockeyjournal.com/news/2010/05/25_coylelooking.php). Edmonton appears to either have special interest in the player, or Coyle really has a thing for cup winners. Said Coyle on day two of the combine:

Monday night when we were eating, I saw Kevin Lowe walk in and knew who he was right away. Tuesday, when I went to Edmonton it was kind of special to meet him.

It looks like Coyle is getting a lot of attention from the scouting departments. Whether it's because he's high on everyone's draft boards or that he's an unknown quantity is hard to determine. Going to an unknown Junior A program at South Shore leads me to believe scouts are still trying to get a read on him.

I think he'd be a good fit for the Oilers prospect pool in much the same way Chris VandeVelde was talked about. With our first round selection providing the scoring, we'll still need guys able to play a strong two-way game four or five years down the road. Barring a change of playing style while at BU, we're not looking at a home-run acquisition from Coyle out of the #31 slot. Just a solid NHL prospect with a high percentage of playing in the NHL one day.

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