By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Zach Senyshyn was taken 15th overall in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. When he was selected, it was a decision that drew some criticism from fans and NHL Entry Draft experts. At the time, the Bruins had just traded away defenseman Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic to acquire the 13th and the 15th pick in the first round to compliment the clubs original pick at 14. With the Bruins, three straight picks in 2015 they set a modern-day drafting record. There were players still on the board that many prospect people felt should have been picked ahead of Senyshyn, who himself was a speedy player with some big offensive upside. Despite that, the Bruins saw something the in young speedster, and I am here to try and show you what that was.
Zach Senyshyn was drafted by the Boston Bruins because of his incredible speed, and his goal-scoring ability. His 2015-16 season in the OHL was his first since being drafted by the Bruins and did he ever show off his offensive upside. In 66 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds he pocketed 45 goals while dishing out 20 assists for 65 total points with a +/- rating of + 5. He also helped the team in a big way during the playoffs in 12 games he netted 2 goals while handing out 7 assists for 9 total points and a +/- of 0. This season drew a lot of praise from people, and it made the Bruins look great taking him when they did in the first round.
The 2016-17 season was a big one for Senyshyn. Both he and the Bruins hoped that he would build upon his big year and assert himself has a top prospect in the league. He did just that. In 59 games with Sault Ste. Marie, he netted 42 goals while tallying 23 assists for 65 total points and a rating of +16. Also, in 11 playoff games, he scored 4 goals added 1 assist for 5 total points and rating of 0. This was a great season for Senyshyn. He was able to not only show off his great speed but also his scoring ability. He seemed to outgrow playing in the OHL, and it was only a matter of time before we started hearing his name in Boston. The Bruins were so happy with the season that they signed him on to play for the Providence Bruins in the playoffs that same year. In 4 playoff games with Providence, he did not register a point and had a rating of -2. Overall it was a very successful second season since being drafted for Zach.
Coming into the 2017-18 season, it was a big deal for Zach Senyshyn. It was his first full season of professional hockey with the Providence Bruins, and they had hoped he would continue to grow and develop on the same trajectory that he had the last two seasons. His first full season in Providence was streaky, but it was also respectable. In 66 games with Providence, he grabbed 12 goals while helping with 14 assists for 26 total points and a rating of +3. While in 4 playoff games he had 0 goals and 1 assist for 1 total point and a rating of –1. Overall it was a season that Senyshyn can build upon going forward.
This season is another big one for Senyshyn. With other players from his draft having successful years in the NHL some people are getting impatient with his development. So far this season in 17 games with Providence Senyshyn has 5 goals while adding 2 assists for 7 total points with a rating of –9. He has started out slow, but in every year he played in the OHL his offensive output increased, and there is no reason why he would not be able to do that in the AHL as well. Something that is still showing is his speed. When he is flying up ice, it is like he was shot out of a cannon. This speed and his scoring ability should ultimately win out, and he can be a good player in the NHL.
One major thing to remember with Zach Senyshyn is he is only 21 years old. He has time to develop into a good NHL player. One comparison I have seen most often is that he can be a Chris Kreider. This would not be a bad thing. That would mean he is a good wing who is going to consistently score 40+ points a season in the NHL. While it may be frustrating to see other players the Bruins passed on in the 2015 NHL Draft be successful in the NHL, I preach to you be patient. Players all develop at different rates. If we are patient with Senyshyn that patience could be rewarded. The reward? A good NHL wing who is on the Bruins top 6 for many years to come.