One of the recent changes the Minnesota Wild made to their top two lines is giving a young prospect a great chance to succeed in his first NHL season. With Dany Heatley struggling, the Wild moved rookie Charlie Coyle to the top line alongside Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise in hopes of boosting their offense.
While the line didn’t account either one of Minnesota’s goals in a Saturday night overtime win over the Nashville Predators, the trio did manage 13 shots and showed some chemistry together as the Wild snapped a three-game losing streak. It is unclear so far if the move to the top line will be a permanent one for Coyle or not, but he is averaging over 14 minutes per game for the Wild since being recalled from the AHL.
Coyle was a first round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2010, and was shipped to the Wild in a trade that also brought over Devin Setoguchi and sent Wild defenseman Brent Burns to the Sharks. He played a full season at Boston University after being drafted, and started his sophomore season at BU before deciding to head to the QMJHL instead. The move ended up paying off for Coyle as he joined the Saint John Sea Dogs late but still managed 15 goals and 38 points in 23 regular season games. He added 15 goals and 34 points for the Sea Dogs in the playoffs, and turned pro for the 2012-13 AHL season. During the lockout he had 14 goals and 24 points for the Houston Aeros, which led to his recall by the Wild and the excellent chance he now has in front of him.