Boychuk, 23, started the year with Carolina before being placed on waivers, where he was scooped up by Pittsburgh.
The former WHL Lethbridge sniper spent about a month with the Penguins before he was waived for a second time, this time claimed by the offensively-starved Predators on Mar. 5.
Boychuk got off to a decent start with the Preds, scoring in his debut and chipping in with an assist two games later against Vancouver.
But it recently became apparent he wasn’t going to stick at the NHL level.
Last night, following a 4-3 loss to Columbus, head coach Barry Trotz cryptically alluded to “some guys [that] quite clearly can’t play at this level,” when speaking about his team.
Today, Trotz made it clear he was talking about Boychuk.
“I think Zach has a lot of ability, but we really just didn’t see enough bite in his game to go further right now,” Trotz explained. “He is a project, but I think in time he could play in the league if he makes some of the right adjustments in his game.”
Boychuk would clear waivers tomorrow if he’s not picked up by another team, at which point he’d be off to Nashville’s AHL affiliate in Milwaukee.
Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT
This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.
This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.
What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:
Murray on the goal: "I don't know how the ref that called it a goal could have seen it from his angle. I think I had it."
For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.
Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.
In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:
After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.