By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow Me On Twitter @andrewlindrothh
The 2020 trade deadline has come to a close, but since Bruins GM Don Sweeney took over in 2015, it is a no-brainer picking out the best deal he has made before any deadline; the Charlie Coyle trade. At the time, it may have seemed like an underwhelming trade, especially with giving up a promising prospect, but looking back one year later, Coyle has exceeded expectations and is now the future of the Bruins offense.
Welcome Home Charlie
Charlie Coyle, the 6’3 200-pound forward, was acquired in 2019 from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a conditional 5th round pick. Fans were reluctant to the trade at first and rightfully so, as Donato appeared to be the Bruins’ most promising prospect during the 2017-2018 season when he played in his first 12 NHL games, quickly racking up five goals and nine points with a +2 rating. The following 2018-2019 season, though, Donato struggled to find the magic he had in his first dozen NHL games, scoring only six goals and nine points with a -11 rating in 34 games played. The Donato experiment then ended, sending Coyle back home to his native state. After his impressive playoff performance, the Bruins rewarded Coyle with a six-year contract extension worth $5.25M a season.
2019 Playoff Clutch
When Charlie Coyle arrived in Boston, there were many expectations and unfortunately, was off to a sluggish start with the Bruins, only producing 2 goals and 6 points with a -2 rating through 21 games played. Then the 2019 playoffs commenced, and his point production skyrocketed as he tallied nine goals and 16 points with a +8 rating through 24 playoff games. In those 24 games played, he also had an astounding shot percentage of 23.1%.
The Weymouth native lived his childhood dream moment in TD Garden when he scored the overtime winner in game one against the Columbus Blue Jackets. When it mattered most, Coyle stepped up and found ways to help his team win games, which lead the Bruins to a game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals.
One Year Later
So far this season, Coyle has racked up 15 goals and 34 points with a +9 rating in 64 games played. For the majority of the season, he has had Anders Bjork on his left-wing, establishing chemistry between the two players has strengthened the 3rd line and improved the Bruins scoring depth. Coyle is an extremely versatile player that plays a strong two-way game, serves a role on the second power-play unit, and is very effective on the penalty kill.
Coyle is a valuable piece to the Bruins penalty kill, which currently ranks 3rd in the NHL at 84.0%. With Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron usually leading the pack in shorthanded offense, Coyle has taken advantage when being a man-down and currently leads the Bruins’ with two shorthanded goals already this season. Coyle also has 8 takeaways on the kill this season, tying his career-high from 2017-2018.
Charlie Coyle is not only a productive player but provides leadership to the team as well and is currently one of the assistant captains on the Bruins. He generates a huge spark to this team and will be ready to help lead the Boston Bruins back to the Stanley Cup Finals.