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Senyshyn Set to Make NHL Debut in Minnesota

Former first-round pick will be in lineup when Bruins visit Wild on Thursday night

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Zach Senyshyn knows that sleep might be hard to come by on Wednesday night. But he's not complaining.

The 22-year-old arrived in Minnesota on Wednesday afternoon after being recalled from Providence and will make his NHL debut when the Bruins visit the Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday night.

"It definitely was a little tough last night [to get sleep]. I assume it will be a little tough tonight. Those are good nerves and good excitement. I'm really happy to be here," said Senyshyn, who was called up on an emergency basis along with Trent Frederic.

"Obviously I'm really excited and just trying to soak it all in right was a great call. Was really excited to get here and join the team. A great group of guys."

Senyshyn was drafted by the Bruins with the 15th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and has spent the last two seasons with the P-Bruins, during which he believes his game has grown considerably, thanks to the guidance of Providence coaches Jay Leach, Trent Whitfield, and Ryan Mougenel.

"I was a little bit more raw last year," said Senyshyn, who has 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists) in 62 games this season. "I definitely had to fine tune a couple things and really round out my game. I feel like with a lot of help from my coaches down in Providence that it's gotten a lot better. I still hope to grow and take my game to the next level with a little bit of experience up here."

Video: Senyshyn talks first NHL Callup

The Ottawa native also credited Providence's veteran core with contributing to his development since he made the jump from the OHL following the 2016-17 season.

"I'm still a young kid and really learning from the older guys," said Senyshyn, who posted back-to-back 40-plus goal campaigns with the Soo Greyhounds in his final two seasons with the club. "Having guys like Lee Stempniak and Paul Carey and Jordan Szwarz, learning from those guys, has really helped me take my game to the next level. A lot of that has to do with them."

During Wednesday's practice in Minnesota, Senyshyn was paired up with Charlie Coyle, though it was difficult to decipher what the lines might look like against the Wild with several players staying off the ice for maintenance days. Nevertheless, Senyshyn will be expected to use his offensive skills and elite speed no matter where he finds himself in the lineup.

"You don't know…it's his first NHL game. You hope nerves go by quickly," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "I hope he just goes out and plays a solid 200-foot game. He's a great skater, so put some pressure on the D, make them uncomfortable, attack off the wing. Whatever falls into place from there, we'll wait and see."

Time to Rest

With a playoff spot clinched and home ice for their first-round series with Toronto in the bag, the Bruins recalled Senyshyn and Frederic with the idea of providing rest for some of the roster over the final two games of the regular season.

Cassidy was not yet sure what his lineup would look like in Minnesota, other than to say that Chris Wagner, who sat out Sunday night's game in Detroit with a lower-body injury, would not suit up against the Wild.

"He's been dealing with a lower-body, so he needs a few days off completely. Felt better [Tuesday], but still we want to get him right," said Cassidy. "The other guys it's more maintenance, nagging stuff…the lines we'll sort through. There's probably a few guys that move around. We're gonna try to keep some chemistry together and then sort it out from there."

Wagner was one of five players not to practice on Wednesday, joining Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Marcus Johansson off the ice. Per Cassidy, Johansson was dealing with "residual effects" after colliding with Krejci during Tuesday's win in Columbus.

"He got up and was fine, but he did have a little bit of residual effect from that, so we kept him off this morning," said Cassidy. "We anticipate he'll play tomorrow."

Jaroslav Halak will start between the pipes vs. the Wild, who were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday night.

Video: Bergeron talks his 100-pt linemate and the playoffs

Familiar Territory

Coyle played his first seven seasons with the Wild, making countless friends and relationships along the way. As such, when he returns to Xcel Energy Center on Thursday night for the first time since being traded to his hometown Bruins, he expects things to feel a bit strange.

"A little bit. Just being on the other end of things, knowing a lot of guys out there," said Coyle, who was acquired in February in exchange for Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick. "But I'm really looking forward to it, playing against everyone. I'm excited. It will be fun.

"I loved [Minnesota]. It feels like a second home. I was here for six, seven years, met a lot of people, great relationships. I love the organization, the staff, everyone. They made it fun to come to the rink every day and just have a good time, have fun, work hard."

Video: Coyle readies to play former team

Hitting 300

Cassidy will coach in his 300th career game on Thursday night, including his first two seasons with the Washington Capitals from 2002-04. Almost two decades later, Cassidy acknowledged that he has changed quite a bit since his first go-around in the NHL.

"How am I different? Probably in the way most people are different after doing something every year, year in, year out, for that amount time," said Cassidy, who is 116-51-22 in 189 regular-season contests over two-plus seasons with Boston.

"You've got more experience, you're a little less emotional, probably, with little things that happen. You're better able to deal with them. A lot of changes in my life between then and now, obviously. Two young kids at home balance you out a lot better."

Video: Cassidy talks lineup, Senyshyn debut

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