Zach Senyshyn

With Zach Senyshyn out for four weeks, Bruins call up Trent Frederic

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With Zach Senyshyn out for four weeks, Bruins call up Trent Frederic

BRIGHTON, Mass. — The Bruins are again digging deeper into their forward reserves as Zach Senyshyn will be out at least four weeks with a suspected knee injury suffered in Tuesday night’s loss to the Florida Panthers.

The 22-year-old Senyshyn had actually played pretty well since his call-up, with two points in four games and had generated some third-line chemistry with Anders Bjork, but that was all wiped away when he was done for the game early in the second period against Florida. With Senyshyn done for at least a month and David Backes, Jake DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie also among the walking wounded up front, the B’s promoted 2016 first-round pick Trent Frederic to Boston for his first stint this season.

The 21-year-old Frederic is off to a bit of a slow start with the P-Bruins this season with five assists in 15 games along with a whopping 40 penalty minutes this year. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Frederic, who has played 15 career NHL games in Boston over the last few seasons, brings some needed size and muscle up front with both Backes and Ritchie currently missing from the lineup, and also gives the Bruins some versatility with his ability to play center or a power forward spot on the wing.

The injury news is par for the course right now for the Black and Gold as they prepare for an important Friday night game against the rival Maple Leafs in Toronto, and are missing some key components from their roster with an assortment of injuries a month into the season.

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Zach Senyshyn forced out of Bruins' loss with a suspected knee injury

Zach Senyshyn forced out of Bruins' loss with a suspected knee injury

BOSTON – It didn’t sound like the news was particularly good for 22-year-old Zach Senyshyn as the young winger was forced out of the Bruins' 5-4 shootout loss to the Panthers on Tuesday night with a left leg injury.

The Bruins winger was done for the night after one shift when he was injured in the second period. It could leave the B’s short another forward with David Backes, Brett Ritchie, Jake DeBrusk and Karson Kuhlman already injured up front.

Bruce Cassidy said he didn’t have much of an update following the game, but a potential knee injury could be more of a long-term thing than some of the B's other injured bodies.

“They told me he left, lower body. Looked like a knee injury and that he wouldn’t return. Typically I don’t get it, unless a guy’s like, completely gone, I don’t get any updates on what the X-ray showed or didn’t show,” said Cassidy, following the loss where the Bruins blew a four-goal lead in the third period. “He’s trying to get a foothold on a job here while guys are injured and he’s been doing a good job for us. But it’s a bit of what’s going on here lately, it seems like we’re losing forwards this year.

“Last year, it was defensemen and now we’ll have to rely on someone else to come in the lineup and do the job. He’s played well for us, played hard, so you want him to stay healthy and put his best foot forward and get every opportunity. But that’s hockey sometimes. Hopefully, he’s not doing too poorly or too badly and he’ll get back in there when he’s healthy.”

Senyshyn finished with a shot attempt, a hit and a giveaway in 4:46 of ice time.

Senyshyn had a couple of assists in his four games with the Bruin while serving as an injury replacement himself. He’d combined with Anders Bjork to give the B’s a couple of speedy, skilled wingers on the third line once both were given the chance to get into the lineup, so it would be a shame if he can’t continue due to the injury.

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Zach Senyshyn finally getting his shot with Bruins, and so far, so good

Zach Senyshyn finally getting his shot with Bruins, and so far, so good

If everybody is being honest, there hasn’t been a whole lot to be excited about in Zach Senyshyn’s game in his first couple of seasons in the Bruins organization.

The 22-year-old has averaged 13 goals and 25 points in his first two seasons in the AHL and hasn’t dominated at any point after being a first-round pick for the B’s in the stacked 2015 draft, along with Jakub Zboril and Jake DeBrusk. He was a surprise pick back on draft night four years ago ahead of more heralded players that have gone on to stellar NHL careers, such as Mat Barzal, Brock Boeser, Travis Konecny and Kyle Connor. Senyshyn hasn’t been able to help the NHL team much when they’ve badly needed a top-six right winger the past few seasons.

But maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance that Senyshyn can help the Black and Gold, after all. The young winger was awarded a second assist after a change in scoring in the Tuesday night loss and tripled his career NHL output with the two-helper game in his 2019-20 debut. Senyshyn also could have had a third assist because it was his pass that set up Charlie Coyle for what appeared to be a pivotal third-period goal that was eventually overturned by a coach’s challenge. The third line of Anders Bjork, Coyle and Senyshyn was lauded as the team’s best after the loss in Montreal.

“Senyshyn pretty much played with Coyle and Bjork all night. They were arguably our most effective line. They had a good game,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I thought he handled it very well. He gave us 11 solid minutes. He and Bjork were on the puck, getting on pucks and turning pucks over to get on the attack. He drew a penalty by going to the net and getting inside, and that’s something we’ve asked him to do with his speed and body position. That was a great example of that. He had a lot to do with a couple of goals by getting to pucks first.”

Certainly, Senyshyn is going to have to play better than his numbers have borne out in Providence the past few seasons and he’ll need to turn his swift skating ability and 6-foot-1, 192-pound size into more than simple, unrealized potential.  

It looks as if he’s at least going to get that shot as the Bruins endure a wave of injuries to their forwards that have Joakim Nordstrom, Pavel Lindholm, Karson Kuhlman and Jake DeBrusk all on the shelf right now, and Senyshyn will get another look with Coyle and Bjork as a young, fast third line that was so effective against the Habs in their debut.

“Honestly, I felt really good out there. It’s pretty easy to play with a guy like Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork, who really pushes the play,” said Senyshyn, who had two goals and three points in 12 games with the P-Bruins to start this season. “I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and show them what I’ve learned down there. The reason why I got here is by bringing some of those little things into my game and bringing my speed, which I’m naturally good at. I was focusing on playing to my strengths and trying to show them that I’m able to play that complete game.”

Senyshyn will get another shot against Detroit on Friday night and potentially on Sunday against the Flyers and that’s really he can ask for at this point in his still-very-young pro hockey career after an unspectacular beginning.

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