Ottawa Senators: Three Positive Takeaways From 2021

Artem Anisimov #51 of the Ottawa Senators. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Artem Anisimov #51 of the Ottawa Senators. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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Artem Anisimov (51)
Artem Anisimov #51 of the Ottawa Senators. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /

It’s safe to say the Ottawa Senators’ season has not gone according to plan.

Within the past three months, the Ottawa Senators have fallen to the bottom of not only the North Division, but to the bottom of the NHL. They currently hold a record of 9-20-1, with only 19 total points thus far. Although they are ahead of Buffalo in points, the Senators still have the worst win percentage at .317, and they have allowed the most goals out of any franchise (121).

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To make things even worse, the Senators don’t have much room to improve either. Their division consists of three top-ten teams in the league (Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets), and they are 21 points behind the first-place Maple Leafs. Ottawa is just stuck at the bottom while the rest of the pack rises.

While some may say there’s nothing good resulting from this season, there are actually many positives to take away.

The Senators are still a very young team. Hardly ever does a team this age develop at an alarming rate. Ottawa needs time to build chemistry and form bonds on the ice. If one player is not on the same page as the rest, the whole team could fall apart.

It also takes time and patience to become the best in a division. With competition such as the Maple Leafs, Oilers, and Jets, the Senators will need to become more consistent in order to be at the top. With this being said, here are three positive takeaways from the 2020-2021 Ottawa Senators.

Three reasons why you should be encouraged by the Ottawa Senators in 2020-21

Tim Stutzle (18)
Tim Stutzle #18 of the Ottawa Senators. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

1. The Rookies

Although the Ottawa Senators have struggled to find consistent veterans in the past few seasons, the team has been very successful in the NHL Entry Draft. The young squad has been taking charge on the ice, leading the way with promising talents such as Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot.

This year’s rookie class has also been stellar for Ottawa, with one of the most prominent rookies being Tim Stützle. Last year, the Senators scooped-up the German forward with the Third Overall selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

A true and complete package on the ice, Tim Stützle offered star potential to any team who drafted him. With the Senators picking at three, this was their perfect opportunity to take the next face of their franchise

Without playing a single game in the AHL, Stützle has been a huge help to the Senators and their offense thur far into the season. At only nineteen years-old, Stützle currently has 16 points, comprised of six goals and ten assists.

Tim Stutzle (18)
Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle (18). Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

This is huge news for the Senators. With Stützle showing the same production as some older veterans on the team, there’s no saying what this kid can do. If Stützle can harness some of his raw talent and improve his knowledge of professional hockey, he could be a real star in the NHL.

Rookie Josh Norris has also been a pleasant surprise for the Senators. Drafted in 2017 by the San Jose Sharks, Josh Norris spent his first two seasons within the Sharks’ prospect system. In late 2018, Norris was dealt to the Senators as part of the huge deal for Erik Karlsson.

With 2020-21 being his first full season in the NHL, Josh Norris is making a name for himself. Norris currently has five goals and ten assists, combined for a total of 15 points. The more he develops during the season, the more he makes the Sharks regret trading him.

In the big picture, Norris and Stützle have been dominating the rookie leaderboards. Both of them hold the second and third slot in total rookie points, with Stützle being second and Norris being third. Tim Stützle is also fourth out of all rookies in goals, while Josh Norris is in eighth place. In the assists category, Josh Norris and Tim Stützle are tied for third with New Jersey Devils defenseman Ty Smith with ten assists each. The Senators may not be good now, but their future is one of the brightest in the league.