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Playing on a stacked CHL team can be a real detriment for a young player’s numbers and icetime in their draft year. After the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds picked up Nick Ritchie and Justin Bailey at the OHL trade deadline, this definitely became a problem for 17-year-old Zachary Senyshyn. Despite the reduced icetime, Senyshyn was still able to put up 26 goals and 45 points in 66 games for the Greyhounds and added 7 points in 14 playoff games. With many of Sault Ste Marie’s best forwards finishing up their OHL careers, expect Senyshyn’s personal numbers to take a real leap forward next year due to increased ice time, better zone starts, and more time on the powerplay. Senyshyn comes from good athletic bloodlines as his father was the quarterback for the Queen’s University Golden Gaels in the 1980s.
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born Mar 30 1997 — Nepean, ONT
Height 6.01 — Weight 192 [185 cm/87 kg]
Zachary Senyshyn is an absolutely elite skater, and might be the fastest skater in the draft class. He told Yahoo sports that he has been working with Ottawa Senators skating coach Mark Power since he was 13 years old, and it definitely shows in his game. He has a powerful stride that generates great speed, and the acceleration to reach that top speed in just a few steps. He also has the strength and balance to fight through a check and drive to the front of the net. This allows Senyshyn to take defenders wide off the rush, and cut to the front of the net. He is deadly when he catches a defender flat footed in the neutral zone and will be behind them before they know it. The balance also allows Senyshyn to win battles along the boards and to establish position in front of the net. The only downside in Senyshyn’s skating is his agility and edgework. He could work on maintaining his speed while making sharp cuts, and changes in direction to be even more dangerous. This area of his game is not that bad, it just doesn’t live up to the speed and power that he shows.
Zachary Senyshyn plays a very straight forward power game. He goes to the net hard both with and without the puck. He plays gritty and digs in the corners and in the front of the net. Senyshyn has a lethal arsenal of shots. His wrist shot and snapshot are both extremely powerful and feature good releases. His stickhandling is decent, but he’s more likely to beat a defender with his speed than with his hands. Its an area of his game that certainly can get better. Senyshyn makes smart, simple passes of the puck in the cycle game, keeping possession, but is not one to make a creative pass through a small opening. He’s much more of a goal scorer than a playmaker.
Defensively Senyshyn works extremely hard. He backchecks effectively and gets involved in battles in his own end. He is willing to play a physical style, separating his man from the puck. Senyshyn is not afraid to put his body down and attempt to block shots. While he’s willing to work, there are some areas of his defensive game that need improvement. He can sometimes get himself out of position chasing the puck. Even when chasing is not the issue, his overall positioning in his own end does need some work.
While there are certainly aspects of Zachary Senyshyn’s game that need improvement, his potential is still very high. He’s a bit of a long term prospect, as he will likely need time to work on his positioning and on developping his skill game a bit more before he’s ready for a scoring line role, but he could be a top six forward with his skating ability, shot, and size. His game is reminiscent of Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, though this is a style comparison and not one based on talent.
Below are some videos of Zachary Senyshyn in action.
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Main Photo via Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday