Four years after being selected 15th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, Zach Senyshyn finally made his Boston Bruins debut. The winger had drawn attention for his inability to reach the NHL level as quickly as some had hoped. This was exacerbated by comparisons to his counterparts from that draft, like the 16th pick, Matt Barzal, who won the Calder trophy in his first season.
But on Thursday against the Minnesota Wild, all of the negative energy melted away.
Senyshyn logged 12:41 of ice time in the Bruins' 3-0 win over the Wild and generally played well. Late in the game, Senyshyn notched the first goal of his NHL career, an empty netter. Despite looking cool, calm, and collected on the ice, Senyshyn admitted that he was dealing with some nerves ahead of the game in an interview captured by the Bruins' official Twitter.
To be honest, since I landed in Minnesota my hands have been sweating non-stop. But once the puck dropped, it’s just hockey, right? The nerves kind of fade away. I was lucky to have a great locker room in here, guys that were really supportive and guys that I’ve kind of grown up with and gone through the program with. It was a lot of fun once it got started.
It's good that Senyshyn felt comfortable with the Bruins right away. And it certainly showed in his performance.
When asked about how he would describe his first NHL goal 30 years from now, Senyshyn offered this humorous take.
Oh, top shelf, dangled a couple of guys before. No, again, it’s a dream come true any way you put it. You put the puck in the net in the National Hockey League and you’re never going to forget it.
Senyshyn's performance should leave Bruins fans encouraged. While he's unlikely to play a role for the team during the playoffs this year, it's always nice to see one of the team's top prospects look comfortable at the NHL level.
Senyshyn should get a chance to log action on Saturday in the Bruins' regular-season finale on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins figure to, once again, rest some of their starters with their first-round matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs already set.
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