As the month of March comes to an end, the regular-season for both the Boston Bruins and their minor league affiliate, the Providence Bruins, is going to busy in the heart of their 2020-21 schedules. Both teams will be leaning on some of the Bruins prospects to help carry the load through what is going to be a busy month of April.
Earlier this month, we checked up on 10 Bruins prospects and how their seasons were going in the minors and in college. Here is an update on how some other Boston prospects are doing in what is an unprecedented season for everyone.
Senyshyn, who was Sweeney’s third and final first-round pick of the three consecutive selections at No. 15 in the 2015 Entry Draft, started out strong this season for Providence in the American Hockey League with five goals and four assists in 11 games. Called up to Boston on March 11 and inserted into the lineup by coach Bruce Cassidy to make his season debut, he played well with three shots on net in just under 12 minutes against the New York Rangers. He suffered an upper-body injury in that game and missed five straight games before returning to the lineup in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
In October, Senyshyn signed a one-year, two-way $700,000 contract with the Bruins and it appears that it may be now or never for the 23-year-old right wing. Since joining the Bruins organization, he has spent a majority of his time with the P-Bruins, collecting 38 goals and 27 assists in 183 games. He has played in eight career NHL games with one goal and two assists. A free agent following the season again, the Bruins have a decision to make whether to re-sign him or let him go this summer.
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of St. Cloud State University in March of 2020, Ahcan impressed enough early in the season with Providence that he was called up to the Bruins taxi squad for their last road trip and made his NHL debut. When Jarred Tinordi was injured against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 16, Ahcan made his debut on March 18 against the Sabres.
Ahcan put up some impressive number for St. Cloud State in his four years. In 144 career games, he finished with 21 goals and 82 assists for 103 points. The 5-foot-8 left-handed shot is undersized, but he has a good skill set and the Bruins are hoping down the line his offensive-minded game will translate to the NHL. His development is worth keeping an eye on the rest of this season, whether it’s in Providence or Boston.
In his first full season with Providence, Asselin has become one of the P-Bruins top scorers in his first 15 games. He has five goals and six assists as both a center and left wing. Last season, he played in five games for Providence with three assists before the season was paused because of the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March.
Scoring is nothing new to Asselin. In 53 games for the Atlanta Gladiators in the ECHL last season before coming to Providence, he had 26 goals and 26 assists. In 2018-19, he had 48 goals and 28 assists for the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL in 68 regular-season games. He had nine goals in 22 postseason games that season for Halifax. The Bruins signed Asselin to a three-year entry-level contract in June of 2019.
So far this season, Dan Vladar and Jeremy Swayman have got a lot of the headlines for the Bruins goalies in the minors, but Boston does have two other young goalies in the system and Keyser is quietly having a good season. In 16 games with the Jacksonville Icemen in the ECHL, he is 7-7-1 with a 2.42 goals-against average (GAA) with a .918 save percentage (SV%).
When Vladar and Swayman were recently called up to the Boston taxi squad, Keyser made his way from the Icemen to Providence. In his one start for the P-Bruins, against the Hartford Wolf Pack, he stopped 27 shots in a 6-1 victory on March 22. Keyser is someone that could be raising his trade value should the Bruins not see him as part of their future.
Just like Keyser, Booth is playing in the shadows of Vladar and Swayman this season. With questions surrounding the future of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak in Boston following this year as they both will be free agents, the Bruins signed Booth as a free agent in October to a one-year, $700,000 to provide organizational depth. He has played in one game for Providence this season.
In his one start for the P-Bruins, the 23-year-old stopped 36 of 38 shots against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a 5-2 win. With the new rules for the 2020-21 NHL season with the taxi squad and a goalie required to be on it, Booth has spent some time this season on the taxi squad.
With the NHL trade deadline just over two weeks away, expect the Bruins to active on the trade front. Some of these prospects might be used in a deal to bring in a need for Boston, but if not, their developments will be key moving forward for a team that is seeing the window for a championship with their core players closing. Sooner or later, some of these prospects could wind up in Boston.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.