Ottawa Senators: Expect Tim Stuetzle to explode onto the scene in 2020-21

Tim Stuetzle, Ottawa Senators. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Tim Stuetzle, Ottawa Senators. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Tim Stuetzle could be one to watch in the Calder Trophy race in 2020-21.

While in Edmonton representing Germany at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, Tim Stuetzle also signed his three-year, Entry-Level Contract with the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.

It means that the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft will report to Senators Training Camp after the World Juniors, ready to battle for an NHL roster spot ahead of the 2020-21 season.

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And, not only will Stuetzle be on the Ottawa Senators roster on opening night, but also expect the young stud to take the National Hockey League by storm.

You heard it here first.

Seen by some as level with Quinton Byfield when it came to the next best prospect after generational talent Alexis Lafreniere in this year’s Draft, Stuetzle has incredible upside and a very, very high ceiling.

Boasting blistering speed, a wide range of skill and an elite playmaking ability, Stuetzle has the power to change a game in an instant and really power an offense.

He is also capable of beating opponents 1-on-1 with his slick hands and he’s one of those players that can just take your breathe away on the ice.

Also an above excellent skater who can both score and create goals, Stuetzle has the potential to morph into a franchise player for the Senators and really lead this offense for years to come.

Granted, Stuetzle won’t be coming into a perfect situation given that Ottawa currently is in full rebuild mode but, if the 18-year-old is placed on Derek Stepan‘s wing on the second-line, then having a veteran center alongside him should help.

But, as we’ve seen in two games at the World Junior Championship in Edmonton, where he is the Captain for Germany, Stuetzle plays with a real swagger and an inner confidence, two qualities that should help him succeed from the very get-go in the NHL.

Plus, the playmaker thrived during his first season playing in the top pro league in Germany last year, putting up 34 points (7 G, 27 A) in 41 games, so he has experience of going up against men and battle-hardened veterans.

He has the kind of creative flair that is rare and expect Stuetzle to absolutely maximise that on a Senators team that wants to be flirting with the Playoffs.

And, let’s face it, young talent is set up to succeed in the modern-day NHL and Stuetzle has all the intangibles and the skill set needed to flourish from day one.

He’ll need to work on his physical game but the left shot has the ability to take on any opponent and beat them, while it should be a hell of a lot of fun to see the German with the puck on his stick and looking to make things happen in the offensive zone.

Stuetzle also won’t have to go up against some of the best defenses in the NHL given that he’ll be stuck in the All-Canadian Division with the Sens, so that should help his cause too.

Therefore, don’t be surprised if he emerges as a real strong candidate for the Calder Trophy by midseason.

After all, with his ability to always be an offensive threat, it is feasible that Stuetzle could lead the Senators in goals and points and he’ll be able to feast on some below-average blueline units in the North Division.

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Yes, he’ll have stiff competition from the likes of Alexis Lafreniere, Kirill Kaprizov, Quinton Byfield, Alexander Romanov and Igor Shesterkin for the Rookie of the Year Award, but don’t be surprised if Tim Stuetzle absolutely explodes onto the scene in 2020-21 and emerges as the best of a very talented bunch.

Whatever happens, he will be a lot of fun to watch on an Ottawa Senators team that needs star power.