By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff
When Charlie Coyle sat down to watch the 2011 NHL draft, he expected it to be a relaxing evening. After all, Coyle had been drafted 28th overall by the San Jose Sharks the year before, and his only concern on this year’s draft night was sending the Sharks his flight itinerary for development camp, which was supposed to start on July 10. But somewhere near the 20th pick of the night, Coyle received a phone call.
“I literally had just sent the e-mail to them with my itinerary and they called me 15 seconds after I sent it,” Coyle said. “I was like what are you doing? Telling me to send it? I just sent it. And then they were like yeah, we’re trading you. We just wanted to let you know [NHL commissioner Gary Bettman] is going to announce it.”
The Sharks sent Coyle along with forward Devin Setoguchi and their first-round (28th overall) pick this year to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Brent Burns and a second-round pick in the 2012 draft. Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher noted in his press conference, “there is no way this deal gets done if Charlie Coyle’s not in it. We feel he’s one of the top power forwards in the game.”
Coyle is coming off a strong freshman season at BU, as he scored 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 37 games played and was named as the league’s Rookie of the Year.
Although Coyle’s post-college landscape now looks a little different, he does not expect the trade to change much about his immediate plans. Coyle said he will return to BU this season and will continue to work out this summer just as he had been before the trade. He has not had time to have a full conversation with Fletcher, but based on Fletcher’s press conference comments, the two appear to be on the same page.
“I’m not a big believer in pulling kids out of college,” Fletcher said. “It’s really up to the young man and his family to make that decision. We’ll certainly sit down and speak to him and we’ll speak to Jack Parker . . . the goal in trading him was not necessarily to get him in uniform right away.”
Coyle said his main focus at the moment is improving on his strength and speed. He has been working out since the end of BU’s season and is now back on the ice after taking two months off from skating.
Coyle also spent the spring following his teammates as they went through the draft process. Three Terriers – forward Matt Nieto and defensemen Adam Clendening and Garrett Noonan, were selected in this year’s draft.
Clendening, Coyle’s roommate, was at the draft on Friday waiting to hear his name called when Bettman announced the Sharks traded Coyle.
“Adam called me to say congrats on the trade or something like that,” Coyle said. “It was kind of a crazy moment. It was nice for him to call me and I got a chance to talk to him and give him a good luck too.”
Clendening was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday with the 36th overall pick and Nieto followed not long after when Coyle’s former team took him with their first pick of the draft (47th overall).
“It was pretty ironic,” Coyle said of the Sharks selecting Nieto. “It would have been fun to be a part of the Sharks with him and maybe go to camp with him. He’d know someone out there and it would be more comfortable for him probably, but that was pretty funny to see. Everything happens for a reason, so we’ll see how it goes.”
In addition to watching his teammates go through the draft this year, Coyle said watching the draft itself was different for him now that he been through the process.
“Even before my year, I remember watching the draft and it was just crazy because I knew I could be in that position,” Coyle said. “It was a cool experience for me, and then just watching it and relaxing, having gone through it . . . you sit back and watch and don’t have to worry about anything. Then I was traded.”