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Coyle traded to Bruins by Wild for Donato, fifth-round pick

Forward could play third-line center for Boston; Minnesota 1-6-3 in past 10

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Charlie Coyle was traded to the Boston Bruins by the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday for forward Ryan Donato and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Coyle, who signed a five-year contract extension with the Wild on Oct. 22, 2014, can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

The 26-year-old forward had 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 60 games this season for Minnesota but has no points in his past seven games.

 

[RELATED: 2018-19 NHL Trade Tracker]

 

Boston (36-17-8), which has been interested in Coyle all season, likely will play him at third-line center behind Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. The Bruins have spent all season looking for a viable option there, trying out prospects Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Trent Frederic, but have not been able to find a reliable presence.

"Charlie brings unique qualities to our team -- he is an experienced, productive, two-position player with size, skill and speed," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. "Charlie will provide the necessary depth in all areas of our game as we continue to battle for a (Stanley Cup) Playoff position."

The Bruins are in second place in the Atlantic Division, four points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs following their 3-2 shootout victory against the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, but are without forward David Pastrnak, who leads Boston with 31 goals. The Bruins announced on Feb. 12 Pastrnak would be out at least two weeks because of a thumb injury that required surgery. 

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Coyle could play many roles.  

"We do feel he's a good third-line center. I've been told that's his best position," Cassidy said. "Can he go out and play third-line right wing with [Pastrnak] out? Yeah. It's a good acquisition because of that. I think it's good for us. Good size, good talent."

Selected by the San Jose Sharks in the first round (No. 28) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Coyle (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) has 242 points (91 goals, 151 assists) in 479 regular-season games over seven NHL seasons and 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 44 playoff games.

"He's a solid two-way guy. Good right-hand shot, as well," Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk said. "Hard to play against, so obviously excited to have him on our team. Hopefully, we can integrate him in as quick as possible."

Minnesota (27-27-6), which is 1-6-3 in its past 10 games, including consecutive shutout losses, is one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. The Avalanche are tied in points (61) with the Chicago Blackhawks.

"It hasn't been a lot of fun going to sleep at night," general manager Paul Fenton said before the Wild's 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday. "When I do go to sleep, I find myself crying like a baby, just like most babies do.

"Am I making phone calls? I'm guaranteeing you I'm making phone calls, receiving phone calls, entertaining phone calls. That's just the seat that I'm sitting in right now."

Donato had nine points (six goals, three assists) in 34 games with Boston this season but was reassigned to Providence of the American Hockey League on Jan. 28. The 22-year-old, who was selected by the Bruins in the second round (No. 56) of the 2014 NHL Draft, has 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 46 games in two NHL seasons.

NHL.com staff writer Amalie Benjamin and correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report

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