The NHL’s youngest player, Tim Stützle is not just here to fit in, he’s here to take over.
The man they call “Jimmy Stu,” Tim Stutzle is already making waves just 8 games into his NHL career. Stutzle became just the third Senators rookie to achieve 3 consecutive games with a goal on Thursday night. Stutzle lead the way with a goal and 2 helpers on route to a 3-2 victory over the top team in the league, the Montreal Canadiens.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 5, 2021
Stutzle was finally situated on the top powerplay unit and it paid off immediately for DJ Smith. It was only a matter of time for Stutzle to get his opportunities and it appears that a rather painful blocked shot vs Edmonton was enough to convince the coach that Stutzle was ready for an increased role.
Stutzle in a ton of pain after this block.. Takes it right off the foot. pic.twitter.com/QwHsTxaud4
— Alex Metzger (@nhlsensandstuff) February 3, 2021
Praise From The Coach
“Stutzle was unbelievable tonight, he was exceptional, tracking pucks, he’s blocking shots. He plays the game the right way, Smith said, you get the feeling that he can do all things and I felt good having him out there at the end of the game. He’s obviously going to be a number one powerplay guy, it’s just amazing that he’s doing it this soon.”
Stutzle has now accumulated 6points, in 8 GP, leading the Sens in both goals with 4 and PP/G at 0.75. The rookie sensation now sits just 3 points shy of the rookie scoring lead, currently held by Minnesota Wild’s, Kirill Kaprizov. Notably Kaprizov will turn 24 years-old in April and is enjoying a much more prominent role (compared to Stutzle) on an experienced team, Kaprizov has 9points in 11GP.
Perhaps even more impressive is Stutzle’s early play in comparison to the 2 players selected ahead of him at the 2020 NHL draft. It’s early and I expect that both Alexis Lafreniere and eventually Quinton Byfield will be close to Stutzle in terms of production but for now, he’s emerging as an early contender for “best player of the 2020 draft.”
Early review of the #2020NHLDraft:
Alexis Lafreniére 10GP 1G, 0A 1PTS
Rangers have 29 GF this season
Quinton Byfield 0GP (AHL)
Tim Stützle 8GP 4G, 2A 6PTS
Sens have 22 GF (in Stützle's GP)
— Derek Lee (@DLee075) February 5, 2021
Confident But Humble
“With every game and every shift I’m feeling more confident out there. Stutzle stated in a post game press conference Thursday evening. He talked about scoring on Carey Price. He’s one of the great goalies in the game and to score against a great goalie like him is an unbelievable feeling. He (DJ Smith) gave me the confidence to play in the last minute of the game and yeah, it’s definitely a great feeling.”
The pressure was on from the get go for Stutzle, the NHL’s youngest player on the biggest stage and yet he continues to rise up. It seems nothing will stop the 19-year-old from NHL superstardom, the question is sooner becoming, when not if. “No risk, no fun,” Stutzle’s life mantra is an indicator that Timmy Time might be closer than we imagined and for Sens fans, dreams of the “many years of unparalleled success” may hinge on the success of a 19 year old rookie sensation.