Sharks go to Mass. again for first-round pick
SAN JOSE – The San Jose Sharks selected forward Charlie Coyle with the 28th pick in the NHL draft Thursday night, adding another Massachusetts prospect to their system.
The Pacific Division champion Sharks have a long history of drafting players from Massachusetts, the home of their AHL affiliate and director of scouting Tim Burke.
“He was in a group of players we were hoping were there,” Burke said. “We were very happy to get him. He has an NHL body and he’s very athletic. He can play a power and a finesse game.”
Coyle, who is 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, projects to be a top six forward in the NHL after he plays college hockey at Boston University, Burke said.
Coyle had 21 goals and 42 assists in 42 games with South Shore of the Eastern Junior Hockey League team last season, winning the league’s rookie of the year award. He was ranked 24th among North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting bureau.
Coyle, 18, played in the 2009 Four Nations Cup for the United States where he scored the overtime winner against Switzerland to wrap up the tournament title.
“I try to be a good two-way player,” Coyle said. “I’m a bit of a power forward. I like to use my body and play physical and give a hit here and there. My passing is pretty good. I can put the puck in the net when I shoot. I like to work in the corners and can win battles down low.”
This marked the third straight year that the Sharks used their first pick on a U.S.-born player. They selected defenseman William Wrenn last year and center Justin Daniels two years ago with second-round picks. San Jose had a first-round pick for the first time since 2007.
Coyle is the cousin of former NHL players Tony Amonte and Bobby Sheehan. Amonte had 900 points in his 15-year career with the New York Rangers, Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Calgary. Sheehan had 111 points in 310 games over an eight-year career.
Coyle said he idolized Amonte growing up watching him in the NHL, wishing he could one day emulate that.
“He gave me pointers here and there,” Coyle said. “It’s nice to have someone like him around with his experience. He knows what it takes to get to the next level. It’s nice to have him there.”
General manager Doug Wilson is also working on locking up some of his potential free agents before they can hit the open market July 1. The Sharks signed Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski to four-year deals on Thursday. Among the other unrestricted free agents are forwards Manny Malhotra and Scott Nichol, and defenseman Niclas Wallin.
“We’ve had conversations, hopefully pushing forward with a couple of them and have more information tomorrow,” Wilson said. “We would like to get a couple more done before the end of the weekend.”
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