The Ottawa Senators completed the projected top-three of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, selecting German centre Tim Stutzle at the third-overall spot. The 6’ 1”, 187-lb forward instantly becomes one of the team’s top prospects, and will be given a chance to take over top-line duties this coming season. And the Sens brought in a special guest to do the pick in style:
Stützle (pronounced “SHTOO-tsleuh”, per friend-of-the-blog and mascot aficionado Poppy) has seen his stock rise immensely, from low first-round pick a year ago to a near-guaranteed top-three pick now. He continued his lifelong trend of playing extremely well against much older competition, with 34 points in 41 games in the DEL, Germany’s top men’s league. Couple with a point-per-game performance for Germany at the IIHF World U20 Division I championships, leading the Germans back to the top-flight World Juniors for 2020.
For a more in-depth look at Stützle, check out Ary’s full draft profile from a few months ago. The big points people talk about for him are his quick acceleration, his creativity, his ability to make plays at top speed, and his puck-handling. He projects to be the best centre in the Sens’ system since prime Jason Spezza, something that has been sorely lacking from this team for a long time now. While simply drafting Stützle doesn’t complete the rebuild, I think it’s safe to say the Sens now have arguably the biggest piece they needed to complement the core of number-one defenceman Thomas Chabot and first-line winger Brady Tkachuk. It feels premature, but I would love to see the skilled Stützle and feisty Tkachuk develop into a duo reminiscent of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. We may be getting ahead of ourselves, but make no mistake, this is a great pick for the future of the franchise. Welcome to Ottawa, Tim!