Zach Senyshyn is looking for a fresh start. Through his agent, he has asked Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney for a trade.
“It’s been a long journey with Boston and Providence. Obviously, I’m super-thankful to everyone in Providence for all of their help in the development of my game, but I want to play in the NHL. I feel like I haven’t been given that opportunity in the Bruins organization,’’ Senyshyn said by phone from Ottawa, where he is home for Christmas.
Drafted in the first round (No. 15) in 2015, Senyshyn is midway through his fifth season with the AHL’s Providence Bruins. In three brief stints in the NHL, the most recent in 2020-21, he’s played 14 games, scoring a goal and two assists.
“I feel like my game has gotten to that level where I’m ready to play and I’m ready to make an impact. With the way the Bruins organization has been going, it just doesn’t seem like I’m in the mix.’’
The 2015 first round – in which Boston picked Jakub Zboril (No. 13) and Jake DeBrusk (No. 14) immediately before Senyshyn – continues to be a lightning rod for criticism of Boston management with no end in sight.
“I just feel like I need a fresh start. With all of the backlash with the media, considering where I was drafted and everything going on there, it’s just been a lot emotionally. I feel as though a fresh start is best,’’ Senyshyn said.
“I’m not really being utilized in (the Boston) organization. I’m not being used at all. I feel as though it’s better for them to get some return and for me to get a fresh start.’’
A goal-scoring winger with the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL, Senyshyn has been remade in the AHL as a two-way player with elite speed. With Providence, he is an effective forechecker who can kill penalties and chip in offensively. This season he is tied with Oskar Steen for the team lead in goals with eight. In the NHL, he projects as a bottom-six player.
“I’ve developed a lot as a player from when I first came into the (AHL). I feel like my game has grown a lot. I think we’re just at that point where, I’m 24 years old, about to be 25, if they don’t want to use me as an asset now, there’s only so much more I can do to try to fit into their fold,’’ he said.
“For me it’s come to the point where we can part ways and I can help another team that needs more help than the Bruins need, in my skill set, at least. I feel like I have a unique skill set where I’m a fast skater and I can play up and down the lineup now thanks to the development I’ve had (in the AHL).’’
Senyshyn was last recalled in March 2021 after a fast start in the AHL, but suffered an upper-body injury in his first game. Recently, he was not one of the players called up when Boston was battling a COVID outbreak.
Obviously, that hit home.
“I mean, I’ve been a guy who was in the (playoff) bubble (in 2020), who has been a loyal soldier for a long time. Time and time again, guys have been put ahead of me and those guys have been given the opportunity to develop and grow.
“If I was given some of those opportunities at the NHL level, maybe I would have been able to produce. Obviously, injuries plagued me when I was up there, but I still feel as though my game has always been there to be able to contribute and to at least be a positive effect on that group up there,’’ he said.
Senyshyn, an assistant captain the last two seasons, said he will report to Providence after the holiday break and continue to work on his game.
“My biggest priority is getting my game to be the best it can be and that’s going to be by playing and being a good leader and teammate and doing all those things. It won’t be by sitting at home. My focus is still on developing my game and helping my team, but I’m just at the point now where I’m ready for that change,’’ he said.
Senyshyn’s agent is Andy Scott of Octagon Hockey, the same agency that represents DeBrusk, who has also asked to be traded.