Los Angeles Kings Prospect Spotlight: Brian Boyle
When most people look at Brian Boyle, they see a 6'7" 230 pound frame and nothing else.
Boyle is much more than just size; he has speed, quick hands, and intelligence on the ice.
These attributes have led him to high numbers (31-31-62) which has got him recognition as an All-AHL rookie first team player, and an eight game stint with the Kings netting four goals and one assist.
Boyle is even larger than good numbers. Recently the Monarchs have named him an Assistant captain because of his demeanor both on and off the ice.
On the ice, Boyle is a fan favorite because of his efforts to defend his goalies; simply taking his large wingspan and carrying 2-3 players out of the crease by himself. He plays the role of intimidator in scrums, looking downward on all but two AHL opponents, and forcing them out of the scrums.
Less-known to the fans is the weight Brian carries on the power play. After being moved to center about 10 games into the season, the Monarchs saw a spike in power play goals. Boyle uses his large frame to block the view of opposing goalies, which is a large factor in the Monarchs No. 1 ranked AHL power play unit.
Almost every time a power play goal is scored by Manchester, the goalie is frozen because all he can see is number 19. In fact, more than half (16) of Boyle's 31 goals have come on the power plays, many coming from slap shots on the point that made contact with his stick on the way by.
Another aspect of Boyle's on-ice game, is the ability to make everything he does look easy. Fans may see him as an emotionless player, but he is simply concentrating at the highest level. It seems as though he has the ability to slow the game down and see openings and holes developing. His favorite form of scoring even-strength goals is simple wristers from the low slot/circle area, using pinpoint accuracy to hit anything the goalie hasn't covered.
He is also a vacuum for big rebounds. He is always around when a rebound comes off a blocker or pad. His long arms and stick give him many opportunities to bring in those rebounds and stick handle around sprawled goalies.
Off the ice, Boyle is an all-around great guy. He is always willing to participate in the outlandish video shoots that make the Manchester Monarchs so popular in New England. Recently he dressed up as a redneck for the Monarhcs' Mullet Night and lip-synced a country song along side Teddy Purcell, Gabe Gauthier, and a few others.
He is also known for always being happy to stand for pictures at player-signings. Standing up seems to be a popular request, as fans want to compare themselves to a giant. The occasional child runs away, scared of his size, but he simply takes a knee so they can safely get a picture with their favorite player. He does it with a smile every time.
Unfortunately, in game 77 against the Worcester Sharks, Boyle suffered a leg injury, when a Sharks player caught an edge and pinned his leg on the boards. For the sake of the Manchester Monarchs, hopefully Boyle will return on time for the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs as they will be facing the No. 1 ranked Providence Bruins.
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