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Wild Signs Coyle To Entry Level Contract

by Glen Andresen / Minnesota Wild

The trade deadline has passed, but not without the Minnesota Wild adding some pieces for the future, including forward Nick Palmieri, defenseman Steve Kampfer and one, possibly two draft picks.

The Wild can't make any more trades. It can't sign any college free agents until teams start getting eliminated from National Championship contention. And it can't sign NHL free agents until July 1.

But the Minnesota Wild can continue to lock up its current prospects, and today, the club did that with another highly touted prospect. The Wild signed 2010 first round pick Charlie Coyle to a three-year, entry level contract on Thursday.

The East Weymouth, Mass. native started this year as a sophomore at Boston University. After representing the United States for the second straight year at the World Junior Championship, Coyle joined the defending Memorial Cup-winning Saint John Sea Dogs and another Wild prospect, Zack Phillips.

Coyle and Phillips have been a potent combination while playing on the same line, with Coyle putting up 12 goals and 12 assists in just 16 games. He's posted at least one point in all but two games he's played thus far. It helps to have Phillips, who ranks sixth in the league in scoring.

“Point-wise I think obviously we’re both doing pretty good and we’re winning so I think it’s working for everyone,” Coyle told of playing with his fellow Wild prospect. “I think we complement each other pretty good. Hopefully we stick together. I think we work well together.”

Phillips also had high praise for the big power forward the Wild hopes will be scoring close-range goals in the NHL in the not-so-distant future.

“He’s a big power forward and he’s got good hands, so it’s good playing with him,” says Phillips. “He’s got a good shot and he’s easy to set up because he’s always in the right spot in front of the net. We work well together and hopefully we stay together.”

In helping the U.S. to a seventh place finish in the World Juniors, Coyle scored four goals among five points in six games, including a hat trick in the tournament opener against Denmark.

Before departing BU, he had posted three goals and 11 assists in 16 games. His busy season came after he was acquired by the Wild during last summer's Draft when the team acquired him, Devin Setoguchi and a first round pick from San Jose that turned out to be Phillips.

Coyle joins Jonas Brodin, Brett Bulmer, Johan Larsson and Phillips as top Minnesota prospects that have signed their entry level deals in the past year. The Wild is expected to sign Finnish forward Mikael Granlund, but won't be able to until the conclusion of the World Championship tournament in late May. General Manager Chuck Fletcher has also indicated that the team may attempt to sign 2010 second round pick Jason Zucker upon the conclusion of his sophomore season at the University of Denver.
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