Zach Boychuk has bounced around the NHL more this season than some veterans do in their entire careers. First waived by the Carolina Hurricanes, he was claimed by the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he played eight games. Then after he was waived by the Penguins, he was claimed by the Nashville Predators and played five games with them. When they placed him on waivers earlier this week, he was reclaimed by Carolina. And now they have placed him on the waiver wire once again.
There’s an interesting wrinkle in all of this for Preds fans. If Nashville is able to reclaim Boychuk today, they can send him directly to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. This is because of a clause in the CBA that allows them to claim him without placing him on waivers again since they were the last team to let him go before Carolina waived him. What that means is that we could end up seeing Zach Boychuk in a Nashville Predators uniform again – just probably not before next season’s training camp.
It has to have been a frustrating ride for the 23-year-old, especially after being reclaimed by his old team and immediately placed back on waivers to be sent back to the AHL. Perhaps if things go well he can find a home within the Nashville Predators organization. Milwaukee isn’t just the Preds’ AHL affiliate; it’s also a training ground for playing the system coach Barry Trotz employs in the NHL. Since one of the things Trotz said about Boychuk was that there wasn’t enough “bite” in his game, a stint with the Admirals would give him ample opportunity to develop that bite – and subsequently an opportunity to make a home for himself with the Predators.
Of course, this all depends on the Preds successfully reclaiming him. That’s not a sure thing at this point, but there does appear to be will within the organization to do so.