Recently, Tim Stuetzle has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators. The signing came with a comment about Stuetzle from Senators GM Pierre Dorion. It was clear that Dorion really liked Stuetzle as a player.
Dorion noted, “Tim possesses an exceptional blend of both speed and skill and a playmaking ability that our fans are going to enjoy watching for several years to come. He’s a dynamic forward who we expect to become a key piece of our roster as we continue trending towards icing an eventual elite-level team.”
Prior to the Senator’s signing Stuetzle, the Senators had obtained Stuetzle’s contract release from Adler Mannheim of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. That was a must before they could sign him to the $925,000 three-year contract. Currently, the 18-year-old forward is playing for a team Germany at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Stuetzle’s Having a Strong World Junior Championship (WJC)
So far during the WJC, Stuetzle has been having a strong tournament. During Team Germany’s 4-3 OT win over Team Slovakia, Stuetzle scored two goals and added an assist. Reports are that Stuetzle was a “beast” on the ice. In total, he played 31:01 during the overtime win and scored a great goal, going end-to-end, shooting it off the Slovakian goalie, and then getting a fortunate bounce off another Slovakian player into the net. That goal tied the game at two goals each.
After the WJC, the Senators’ Training Camp
Stuetzle was the third-overall pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He was thought to be a star, and nothing he has done to date has changed anyone’s mind in the Senators’ organization. He’ll join the team’s training camp at the conclusion of Team Germany’s WJC tournament.
In the short video below, Senators’ head coach D.J. Smith discusses the team’s excitement as people watch the young German prospect against his peers at the WJHC. Although Stuetzle shows well – very well, in fact – against his peers, the questions remain. How will this WJC translate into NHL success? Should Senators’ fans expect Stuetzle to experience growing pains when he’s finally tested against the best defenders in the world – those who play in the NHL.
The Senators Could Not Be More Pleased with Stuetzle’s WJC Play
The Senators’ organization has been very pleased with Stuetzle’s play at the 2021 IIHF WJC.
As Smith specifically noted, “He’s a special player and when you see a special player play that’s why (he was) drafted first, second or third overall. They’re franchise-changers sometimes.”
Coach Smith added, “When you watch that kid out there, playing against his peers and what he can do, it’s incredible. It’s just a matter of strength and confidence because the NHL is full of first, second or third overall picks and there’s still people watching who expect him to come here and do that right away. They don’t realize that these are the best defenders and the best players in the world. You’ll be out there against Auston Matthews, Bo Horvat and all these players on a nightly basis that have been through this process. He’s still going to have some growing pains, but a finished product Tim Stuetzle looks like one heck of a hockey player.”
Stuetzle’s WJC Scoring Success
Stuetzle is currently 18 years old, but will turn 19 in a few weeks. To date, he’s scored five goals and 10 points in four WJC games. The WJC is far from over, and Senators’ fans will be able to see more of Team Germany. They have advanced to the quarterfinal round.
It gets tougher from this point on, but whenever Stuetzle’s tournament ends, he’ll join the Senators. He’s expected to claim a position on one of the Senators’ wings when he shows up in Ottawa. However, it isn’t clear who his line mates might be now.
Stuetzle makes this a fun season for Senators fans, and regular-season hockey isn’t far away.
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