Boston Bruins: Charlie Coyle one of Don Sweeney’s best pieces of work

Charlie Coyle is an incredibly underrated pickup by the Boston Bruins.

Acquired in a trade from the Minnesota Wild for Ryan Donato and a Fifth Round pick on Feb. 21, 2019, Charlie Coyle has morphed into a key staple of this Boston Bruins team and could go down as one of General Manager Don Sweeney‘s best bits of business.

While productive with the Wild, Coyle has really found the perfect fit with the Bruins and the Massachusetts native looks right at home in the Black and Gold.

Recording over 30 points a season since 2013-14 – his sophomore year – Coyle was already a proven offensive contributor but he’s really carved out a pivotal role for Boston, cementing himself as the team’s third-line center and giving the franchise incredible strength up the middle behind team cornerstones Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

Able to play in all and key situations, Coyle has really won the trust of the Bruins coaching staff and plays the kind of smash mouth hockey that has always been welcome and beloved in Boston.

And, in what was his first full season with the Bruins, Coyle carved out his best year in 2019-20 since the 2017-18 season, putting up 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points in 70 regular season games with a plus / minus rating of +9.

Coyle also recorded five power play points, three game-winning goals and two shorthanded goals, showcasing his ability to be able to both play and thrive in different situations.

He averaged 16:47 of ATOI during the regular season with a winning percentage of 46.6 in the faceoff circle and a 51.3 CF%, while he also recorded 34 blocked shots, dished out 83 hits and served up a career-high 48 Takeaways.

Not bad at all.

But there is no doubt that Coyle really elevated his game to another level during the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where he emerged as one of Boston’s most consistent and most reliable performers in what was a strange postseason.

After dominating the regular season, the Bruins looked a shadow of their former selves inside The Bubble and never quite put it altogether, resulting in an emphatic Second Round loss to the eventual winners the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Coyle certainly brought plenty to the party for his team.

His ATOI rocketed to 18:35 while he was also a force inside the faceoff circle, winning 53.2 percent of his draws and blocking 11 shots and recording 24 hits to go along with 10 Takeaways.

Charlie Coyle #13

Charlie Coyle #13 of the Boston Bruins. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Granted, Coyle only had five points (3 G, 2 A) in 13 postseason games, but he played with a real toughness and a real determination, intangibles that you can’t always put a price or a value on.

He also put his six-foot-3 and 200 pounds frame to good use, acting as an intimidating presence while emerging as a real leader for this Boston team that are still in the middle of their Stanley Cup window despite an aging core.

And Coyle will be a big part of that core going forward with the center under contract through the 2025-26 season with an AAV of $5,250,000.

Currently hitting his prime years, Coyle should be at the peak of his powers right now and he should benefit from having Craig Smith on his line in 2020-21, with the former Nashville Predators wing signed to a three-year, $9,300,000 contract in Free Agency.

Plus, if Anders Bjork can finally unlock his tantalizing potential, then Coyle should have enough weapons on the third-line to help ensure that he continues to produce much-needed secondary scoring for the Bruins.

And, with David Krejci showing signs of plenty of wear and tear on his body, Coyle could be moved up to a more substantial role on the second line at some point in the near future, and there is no doubt that the 28-year-old is equipped to handle that added responsibility.

Clearly relishing the opportunity to pull on the jersey of his hometown team, Charlie Coyle has already embedded himself as an important part of this Boston Bruins core and, with his production coupled with the overall role he plays and will continue to play, he could go down as one of Don Sweeney’s best trades in recent years.