By Jamie Gatlin
As the Bruins look towards the 2020-2021 season, one area they will be looking to improve is the offense. While the President Trophy winners are expected to be active in free agency and on the trade market, they will also have a few prospects looking to make their mark. One player to watch in particular will be Zach Senyshyn, who will be looking to fulfill his lofty draft expectations.
The Bruins took Senyshyn with the 15th overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft. Since being drafted by Boston, the Ontario native has appeared in six games for the Bruins. In Senyshyn’s limited action, he has been productive with one goal, two assists, and averaged a game of 0.5 points. Given his draft slot, however, the Bruins need more from the right winger.
While Senyshyn has shown flashes of promise, many players from his draft have already made it to the NHL. The Bruins prospect has also struggled at times in the AHL as teammates such as Karson Kuhlman and Anders Bjork have carved out spots at the NHL level. Senyshyn is a restricted free agent this offseason but is expected to return.
Since the start of 2017-2018, Senyshyn has appeared in 174 games for the Providence Bruins. In that span, he has scored 33 goals and recorded 33 assists. The former first-round pick can skate well and has good vision but has not done enough to earn a permanent spot in Boston. Senyshyn has also been derailed by injuries that have cost him opportunities at the NHL level.
Despite Senyshyns struggles, there were reasons for hope last season. The Bruins center improved down the stretch and was one of Providence’s best players. He also saw some time at the NHL level and made smart decisions with the puck. Unfortunately, Senyshyns NHL run was a brief as a knee injury forced him to miss significant time.
Entering the 2020-2021 campaign, the Bruins do not have many holes in their forward group. For Senyshyn to earn a spot, he will need to continue improving and show that he deserves a spot. The former first-round pick, however, has little room for error as the Bruins patience can only last so long.