Bruins 2015 first-round pick Zach Senyshyn gets another chance to prove himself


The Bruins announced Wednesday that they have signed right wing Zach Senyshyn to a one-year, two-way deal with an NHL cap hit of $700,000.

Senyshyn's career has not gone the way he or the Bruins would have hoped. Boston drafted him with the 15th overall pick in 2015 -- the team's third of three straight picks in that first round -- but so far he has appeared in just six NHL games, registering three career points.

Senyshyn was considered a reach at the time, as most draft analysts had him ranked as a second- or third-round pick, and given how good the players drafted immediately after him have turned out to be, it's hard to consider his selection anything other than a massive miss by the Bruins.

Center Mathew Barzal (207 points in 234 career games) went 16th to the Islanders, left wing Kyle Connor (201 points in 249 games) went 17th to the Jets, and defenseman Thomas Chabot (119 points in 205 games, 26 minutes per game last season) went 18th to the Senators.

Vancouver's Brock Boeser (161 points in 197 games) and Philadelphia's Travis Konecny (185 in 299) went just a few picks after that.

The Bruins obviously know by now that Senyshyn is not going to be any of those players. The question now is whether he will make any impact at all at the NHL level.

He'll certainly get a shot in training camp, whenever that starts, especially with the Bruins looking for some wing depth knowing that David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are likely to miss time to start the season after offseason surgeries.

Senyshyn's offensive game still left a lot to be desired playing for AHL Providence this past season, as he finished with seven goals and nine assists in 42 games.

However, P-Bruins coach Jay Leach said back in May that he saw some real improvement and growth from Senyshyn, especially later in the season.

"We were very excited for where Zach was going the last stretch, the last five, six weeks," Leach said. "We've talked about Seny quite a bit. Sometimes I think, our staff included, you tend to forget how young some of these players are. He's just turning 23. Players develop in different ways and at different times.

"Seny found a home with (Brendan) Gaunce and (Brendan) Woods. They were really an up-and-down line that could do a lot of things. They had some speed with Seny and Woody, and Gaunce was able to complement them with some heady play. Seny was starting to score and he was getting to the dirty areas. They were a heavy forechecking line.

"For me, he was finding an identity. He's a big guy who can get to places quick. He gets to the front of the net to get those opportunities. He was really starting to put it together, like I said, the last five to six weeks. I saw speed. I saw willingness to get to the net. I saw willingness to be an F1 on the forecheck. And with that came some offensive opportunities and he started to cash in a bit.

"I know it's tough. It's his third year pro and I think people tend to, and I get it, it's professional hockey and there's expectations there. But in our mind and in Seny's mind, he's exactly where he needs to be and that's that he's starting to really develop."

So for now, Senyshyn remains in the Bruins organization and gets another opportunity to try to show there can still be an NHL future for him. There may not be many more opportunities after this, though.