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  • HW Top 25 Under 25 #8: Charlie Coyle


    Depending on who you ask, Coyle has either fallen short of his potential, or he has made growth towards it, but has a ways to go. It's impossible to deny that Coyle is a quality player and person to have in a locker room, but he has yet to turn into the power forward that many hoped he'd become.

    After a solid college/junior career and a single season as a part of the Houston Aeros (now the Iowa Wild) Coyle has been a consistent 2nd-3rd line player for the Wild, scoring 79 points in 159 games for the Wild and leading the team in hits in 2015.

    Coyle saw decent growth from 2013-14 to last season, increasing his point production by 5 points. By other measures, his second full season in the NHL was rough; though he saw his CorsiFor (or Shot Attempts For %) rise from 48.9 to 50.7, his CF% Relative to the team dropped from 1.3 to -.4; he stopped driving possession and was a small bit of drag to his teammates.


    That requires two important caveats: firstly that's such a small shift it is practically unnoticeable and has little effect in the real world. More importantly, Coyle started playing center much more this season, and it is very normal to see a player have worse statistics when they take on the added duties of a centerman.

    In addition to adapting to center, Coyle attempted to add more physicality to his play this season, and we saw that emerge through his team-leading hit count. Hits are overrated by many, but Coyle's hits were accompanied by effectiveness in board battles, which is good to see.

    Coyle may not develop into a top-line player, but he has been a consistently capable player at the NHL level for three seasons now (even if one was lockout-shortened), and that is worth a lot. On top of what we've already seen, Coyle has room and time to grow, as he doesn't even turn 24 until March. If he can improve his faceoffs and continue improving his play, he will be a very good player to have on the roster.

    In other words: there may be players with more upside than Coyle, but he has proven that his "floor" is, at worst, definitely NHL-caliber and he has a role to play in the NHL.

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