(This piece was written by Matt McGuirk.)
When the Boston Bruins selected Zach Senyshyn with the 15th overall pick in 2015, many fans thought it was a bit of reach, especially with players like Mathew Barzal, Thomas Chabot, and Kyle Connor still on the board.
Whatever his reasons may have been, Don Sweeney picked up the speedy winger from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds with his third consecutive first-round pick.
It didn’t take long for Senyshyn to prove his doubters wrong. He put up 65 points for the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL in the season after he got drafted and saw his goal total rise from 26 to 45.
In 2016-2017, Senyshyn again notched 65 points despite playing in seven fewer games. Over the span of his junior career, Senyshyn became a speedy, goal-scoring machine for the Greyhounds.
Senyshyn finished up his junior eligibility last season and was added to Providence’s roster last April. He didn’t appear in a regular season game for the P-Bruins, but suited up in four playoff games during their run to the Eastern Conference Final.
Heading into the 2017-2018 season, Senyshyn was one of many rookies vying for roster spots at the NHL level. He had a decent training camp but was assigned to Providence before the season began (to be far, making the NHL club was always a long shot). Considering it was to be his first full season as a pro, starting the in the AHL is not a bad thing.
The P-Bruins are off to a good start with a 7-4 record through 11 games and are currently fourth in the Atlantic Division. With much of the talk surrounding the play of guys like Kenny Agostino and Peter Cehlarik, Senyshyn seems to be lost in the fold.
Senyshyn scored his first goal in the home opener against Springfield on October 7th, and then went ice cold for seven straight games before getting back on the scoresheet on Saturday in Hartford.
With two goals and 14 shots in ten games played, It’s fair to say that Senyshyn is still adjusting to the pro game. He has a remarkable shot and incredible speed, but hasn’t quite been able to put on a show yet.
His confidence seems to be slowly building, however. In his last three games, Senyshyn has been generating more shots and looks much more comfortable skating with the puck. He has been using his speed a lot more as well.
Sure, he might not have a bunch of points right now, but Senyshyn has been coming along nicely for Providence. He has handled himself well in whatever situation he is put on the ice for and can play up and down the lineup if need be.
Now ten games into his first full professional season, Senyshyn is off to a modest start. The goals and assists will come to the right-winger eventually, but for now, getting him adjusted to the AHL style is more important. He is showing signs of improvement week after week and things seem to be headed in the right direction.
Senyshyn may or may not get an NHL call up this season, but a full year in Providence should not be off the table.
The Bruins are hoping Senyshyn develops into a scoring right-wing and if a year in the minors is what helps him establish himself, that is what is best for the Bruins organization in the end.