While it was assumed an injury might keep him out of the tournament, World Junior fans can add 3rd overall pick Tim Stuetzle to the list of participants taking part in the Edmonton edition of the global competition.
The German born winger suffered a broken hand during the Mannheim Eagles (DEL) training camp – only six days after the Ottawa Senators selected him. At the time, it presumably ruled him out the World Juniors. However, as you can see below, he is on his way to the Alberta capital which should make Senator fans even more about the tournament:
Stuetzle leads a group of four Senators prospects that will compete in the U-20 holiday classic. He will be joined by Finnish winger Roby Järventie whom the Senators chose as the 33rd overall pick this past October. He currently plays for Ilves in the top Finnish league (Liiga). So far, Järventie has collected seven goals and seven assists in 14 games to start the 2020-21 season. Look out for the skilled, lanky sniper in Finland’s top six forward group.
The other two Senator prospects, both defensemen, are members of the University of North Dakota hockey program. Senators 5th overall selection, Jake Sanderson, will likely be featured in one of the United States top pairings. His UND teammate, Tyler Kleven, will add a big body and physical element on the American back end. Each of these two Fighting Hawks have only played three games of the NCHC season. So far, Sanderson has two goals and an assist while Kleven has sniped once.
World Junior Excitement
Admittedly, I had my doubts about whether this tournament would take pace as scheduled. With teams now travelling to Edmonton, it is now a certainty that the event will happen in some shape or form. For those unfortunate players that tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the event, I wish them a speedy and full recovery. Can not imagine how disappointing it must have been for these players to be held out of this great annual event.
That said, I am just happy to be getting a fix for my deep and disturbing hockey withdrawal. Especially, as players like Stuetzle have been added and slated to play. The young German has come with much fan fare, but here in North America we have been sheltered from seeing him perform in game action on a consistent basis. That should be fun in and of itself.
Again, it is too bad that Stuetzle will not have the likes of Lukas Reichel or Nino Kinder to play with as both forwards tested positive for Covid. That said, great players rise to a challenge and it will be a good test for the young German. His biggest test might be after the world junior tournament when he tries to crack the Senators lineup for the 2020-21 season.
For now, it is just exciting to have some upcoming hockey to consume – the tournament is now only 12 days away! Stay tuned for more Senator, and other NHL prospect updates as the event approaches.
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