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NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Zachary Senyshyn

Cole Hamilton Avatar
June 10, 2015


Get to Know Zachary Senyshyn

Date of Birth: March 30, 1997 (18)
Place of Birth: Neapean, Ontario
Ht: 6’2” Wt: 195 lbs
Shoots: Right
Position: Right Wing
Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

When The Hockey News asked Zachary Senyshyn what NHL players he considers his role models, the speedy winger responded: “I’d say Matt Duchene. He plays the game at such a high pace and uses his creativity to create offense.” Sure enough, there are shades of Matt Duchene in Senyshyn’s game, especially watching the way he carries the puck up the wing with driving force and explosive speed. Senyshyn thrived mostly in a depth role with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this season, scoring 26 goals and 45 points in 66 games, plus another 7 points in 14 playoff games, and figures to take on more responsibility next season.


What Scouts See

Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects

A smart offensive winger that can be a difference maker in games. Very fluid skater and is constantly moving around to get in advantageous positions offensively, as well as defensively. Has a creative streak, as well as refined puck skills. Has the size to be a physical factor in the game, and knows when and how to use it. Will need to work on rounding out his defensive game, transitioning quicker, and keeping puck possession, but he knows where he can improve, and strives to do so on and off the ice. All-in-all, a cunning, motivated offensive forward whose presence pays dividends for his team at the end of the day

Kyle Woodlief, special for USA TODAY Sports

The first is rugged winger Zach Senyshyn. He’s strong physically and works the boards and corners with tenacity, and is a direct, north-south skater with above average speed. Most important, now he’s hitting the scoresheet regularly – whether with his quick release, driving hard to net, or by picking up the garbage by being the last man standing in front of the opponent’s net. And on the defensive side of the game, he comes back just as hard as he forechecks. This kid right now is just getting better and better.

What BSN Avalanche sees

Zachary Senyshyn is a player with the rare combination of size (he’s 6’2”) and absolute, blazing speed. Offensively, Senyshyn has all the tools to compete at a very high level. His acceleration and top speed are excellent, but more importantly Senyshyn can play the game, think, and puck handle all while maintaining his top speed.

Senyshyn loves to score goals, and with his big frame he isn’t afraid to drive the net and face contact in high scoring areas. He’s most recognizable beating defenders on the outside down the right wing, then cutting in with the puck for a shot on the shortside. In the dirty areas Senyshyn isn’t particularly physical, but he is very solid and difficult to move. That combined with good instincts and quick hands make him a dangerous threat to bury loose pucks and rebounds.

Senyshyn has some dekes at high speed that are absolutely dazzling and leave defenders spinning. He’s an excellent puck carrier but sometimes he tries to do too much on his own. This could in part be because Senyshyn often played with less offensively gifted linemates, but the scoring winger has a bad habit of carrying the puck too long on the wing and running out of real estate behind the net. He’s a shoot-first player and could work on distributing the puck better in his sophomore OHL season.

Senyshyn has the physical tools to succeed defensively, but as a rookie his efforts on that stage were inconsistent. That said, his production is particularly impressive given the fact that he was given more neutral zone and d-zone starts as well as less power play time than the team’s top scorers.

One of the biggest knocks on Senyshyn’s draft value at this point is that scouts haven’t seen enough of him. He’s only played one OHL season, and he spent much of it in a bottom six role for an extremely deep Greyhounds team that leaned heavily on its star players. If Senyshyn’s production in that role translates when he’s given better opportunities and linemates (as it did when he played alongside McCann), this big draft riser could become this year’s big steal.

NHL Potential

With his size, hands, and deadly speed, Zachary Senyshyn has the potential to become a potent Top Six goal scorer in the NHL. After adjusting so well to OHL hockey in his rookie season and producing with limited opportunities, Senyshyn is primed for a big breakout next season when graduating players move him up the SOO Greyhounds lineup.

Expected Draft Position

Scouting services almost universally rank Senyshyn within the first two rounds of the draft, with Central Scouting, Craig Button, Future Considerations, and Bob McKenzie ranking him among the top 50 players available. Some scouts are more concerned with the holes in Senyshyn’s game, and ESPN’s Corey Pronman ranked him 88th. Odds are that Senyshyn will be selected some time in the second round.

How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization

As a high impact scoring winger, Zachary Senyshyn would fill the Avalanche’s single greatest organizational need at the prospect level, and should he reach his ceiling he could eventually fill the hole left by one of the Avs’ aging wingers, Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay. Ranked 44th overall by Bob McKenzie and 42nd by Future Considerations, Senyshyn is widely regarded as second round talent and could certainly be available at 40th overall.

That said, if the Avalanche want to make the most out of their 40th overall pick, they should be searching for first round talents who dropped out of the first night of the draft, much like they did with Chris Bigras two years ago. Senyshyn is a safe, decent value pick at 40th but he could, with more ice time and a bigger role next year, take massive strides in the near future.

The Avs 40th selection may be their most fascinating choice in the draft. Here’s a look at some of the other wingers who could compete with Senyshyn for the spot:
Thomas Novak
Jordan Greenway
Yakov Trenin
Christian Fischer


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