A freshly minted entry-level contract and enough swagger to make Kanye West leave a room with his tail between his legs.
The young Senators prospect has immediately demonstrated that his superstardom is the real thing. The Sens 3rd overall pick from this past draft is quickly proving any doubters (analytics freaks) wrong as he continues to dominate not just every game, but every shift at the World Juniors.
Let’s Get Physical
Tim Stuetzle, has it all and much like many said about the 1st overall pick, Alexis Lafreniere from last year’s tournament, Stuetzle has clearly added some missing ingredients that will undoubtedly make him an immediate NHLer. He’s played with incredible physicality throughout the tournament, clearly out muscling his opponents and at times, flat out burying them.
The Little Things
It’s not always scoring goals or setting them up though and Stuetzle hasn’t had to rely solely on point producing to make an impact on his depleted German squad. I don’t think Sens fans need to worry about endurance or conditioning issues when it comes to their newest star, Stuetzle demonstrates dominance, even after a solid minute of ice time. The latest example shows Stuetzle having his way with 4 Slovakian defenders in the offensive zone, while a man short.
Creating time and space to open up quality scoring chances is something that very few players can do with regularity. We’ve witnessed this from Timmy, with every offensive zone possession. The agility, poise and patience, he rarely makes the simple play and instead looks for the most opportune play. He’s become dominant down low, thanks in large part to adding the necessary muscle and has some of the best puck protection skills I’ve seen.
Once again, doesn’t even matter if it’s in the offensive zone. Stuetzle’s ability to elude is truly unworldly. Here’s an example of his puck protection skills and agility yet again, this time at the other end of the ice. It rinses, wash repeats for Timmy Superstar, baits the defenders in, takes them out of the play and looks for a better option. Remarkable!
Stuetzle also happens to be in the world-class category when it comes to drawing defenders in and baiting them into taking penalties, you see it almost once per game. On top of that, Stuetzle does his very best Kyle Lowry impressions on the ice, pleading with officials, which in this particular case lead to 4 straight German Power-Play opportunities.
The Good Stuff
Perhaps what impresses me the most is that we can make a highlight montage of just 3 games for Tim Stuetzle, because his intensity and skill just radiate through every performance. It appears Stuetzle has also added strength to his shot and a quick release that we’ve yet to see from the pronounced playmaking machine.
Maybe the #8 jersey is taking over my brain but that one knee release looks very similar to another player that wears that number. Hmm..
Here’s yet another example of the high-end playmaking abilities that Stuetzle possesses. Stuetzle works the half-wall as good as anybody I’ve seen on the man advantage, reminds me of Auston Matthews at times on the man advantage, the way he constantly circles the area and uses momentum to create plays. In this case, he starts the play that sets up the game-winner.
Ottawa will no longer have difficulty entering the zone on the man advantage if Stuetzle can translate his skating abilities to the NHL. Here, he goes one on the world and it results in a fortunate bounce off of a defender and in.
It seems like so long ago now. It was warm and sunny when I wrote one of my debut pieces for SenShot, pleading for the Senators to draft the German forward
It brings me back to the Erik Karlsson prime years, where every game was another example of his greatness. While it’s too early to suggest that, that level of greatness is going to be attainable for the 18-year-old German, the sky is the limit and everyone is taking notice.
Timmy Superstar, made original by the Locked On Senators podcast, is perhaps the most appropriate nickname for everyone’s new favourite Ottawa Senators prospect. Perhaps the greatest birthday gift of all, will come January 15th, Timmy turns 19 years old and is set to make his NHL debut against the Senators’ most hated rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Perhaps a birthday goal will set the tone for the Sens as they enter a new chapter with a budding, young superstar.