On October 6th, 2020, the Ottawa Senators selected Tim Stützle with the third overall pick.
With the help of Alex Trebec, Tim Stützle was drafted by the Ottawa Senators with the third overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Level Draft. Looking back now, where would he slot in a re-draft?
First, let’s take a look at Tim Stützle.
Tim Stützle is one of three players in the 2020 draft class to make his NHL debut right away. The other two will be mentioned a bit later. He is however one of two who played that full season in the NHL without being sent back to juniors. In his first season, he was primarily used as a left-winger, slotting mostly on the second line. He scored 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points in 53 games. He only missed three games that season, to injury. That season was shortened in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In his next season, he scored 22 goals and 36 assists for 58 points in 79 games. This year has not yet finished and he has already crushed his previous career highs with 31 goals and 35 assists for 66 points so far in 59 games. In a full 82-game season, he is on pace for 44 goals, 46 assists, and 92 points. His improvements are not just limited to points, however. Each season his average ice time has gone up as he has earned more trust from his coach. In his rookie season, he averaged 15:44 minutes per game, while the next season he averaged 18:25. This year he is averaging 20:41 and has established himself as a true first-line center. This season, Tim Stutzle has seen penalty-kill time and has contributed tremendously as Ottawa’s Penalty Kill is currently ranked 5th in the entire league. As a final argument, let’s take a look at his JFresh player card.
His WAR percentage indicates that he is 87% better than a replacement-level player, which means he is in the 87th percentile of best players in the NHL according to this metric. For a more in-depth explanation of WAR and the other stats in this graphic, please click here.
With the First Overall Selection, the New York Rangers selected Alexis Lafrenière of the QMJHL. Lafrenière was one of the two other players in the 2020 draft to immediately see NHL time. When drafted, Lafrenière was touted as the best prospect since Connor McDavid. In three seasons so far, he has not quite lived up to those expectations, but that could partly be attributed to deployment and growing pains. In 197 games in the NHL so far, he has 44 goals and 39 assists for 83 points. Every player develops at a different pace. I would not be so quick to call him a bust. He has improved every year so far. If we’re talking re-draft today, however, Stutzle has proven to be better at this current moment in time and has developed quite faster than the former first overall pick.
Quinton Byfield was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Kings and has yet to establish himself as a full-time NHL player. He has however played 36 games in the NHL this year and could finish the year with the LA Kings after going point-per-game in the AHL to begin the season. He is currently being played on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe. In those 36 games, he has scored 2 goals and 14 assists for 16 points. These numbers don’t stand out quite yet, but again, some players take a bit longer to develop. While I believe he will develop to be a legitimate #1 center in the NHL, I’m willing to bet that Stützle will have a more decorated and illustrious career.
Notable players selected after Tim Stützle
At fourth overall, the Detroit Red Wings picked forward Lucas Raymond. Raymond impressed during his rookie season, scoring 23 goals and 34 assists for 57 points. This year he has taken a bit of a step back, scoring 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points in 55 games so far. In 82 games this season he is on pace for 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points. While these point-totals are less than his rookie season, he is a great playmaker with a sound shot and will be a key part of Detroit’s rebuild. Still, I’m taking Stützle in a redraft before Raymond.
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With the 5th overall selection, the Ottawa Senators also selected defenseman Jake Sanderson. Sanderson is currently playing in his rookie season, and it could be argued he is the best defenseman of the 2020 draft class. In 58 games so far, he has 4 goals and 20 assists for 24 points, which is pretty good for a defenseman but his impact is much more than just on the scoresheet. Sanderson is regarded as an amazing two-way defenseman who has sound defensive awareness and is currently playing on Ottawa’s second pairing. Some say that he is already the Senators’ best defenseman, but that’s an argument for another day. His impact is second-to-none and he will have a long career.
At sixth overall, the Anaheim Ducks pick an offensive defenseman, Jamie Drysdale. Drysdale is the third player from the 2020 draft who played in the NHL immediately. He played 24 games in the 2020-2021 before being sent to the AHL to finish out his season. He is currently injured, having torn his labrum, and is not expected to play for the rest of the season. Drysdale in my eyes is the second-best defenseman of the draft. He will be a first-pairing defenseman long-term for the Ducks and will be among their best players for years to come.
With the seventh pick, Alexander Holtz is the player that the New Jersey Devils picked. He is a Swedish sniper that will turn heads when he cracks the NHL full-time. He is currently playing in the AHL after spending quite a lot of the 2022-23 season as a healthy scratch. While I don’t think his being a healthy scratch was necessarily great for his development, he still shows a lot of promise. He currently has 3 goals and 2 assists for 5 points in 6 AHL games with the Utica Comets.
Jack Quinn was chosen by the Buffalo Sabres with the 8th overall pick. He is currently playing in the NHL with the Sabres’ on the first line but has moved up and down the lineup this season. in 56 games this year, he has scored 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points. He still has some development to do, but I expect a breakout season for him in the 2023-24 campaign as the Sabres continue to develop as a team. He should be a top-of-the-lineup player for the Sabres organization.
Cole Perfetti was selected by the Winnipeg Jets at pick 10. He has impressed so far and is currently in the NHL, however, he is injured. In 51 games, he has scored 8 goals and 22 assists for the Jets. He projects to be a top 6 center for the Jets and could scratch legitimate #1 center territory.
All the way at pick 13, the Carolina Hurricanes picked Seth Jarvis. On the first line, he has impressed so far. He has scored 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points in 62 games during his sophomore season. Like Quinn, I expect him to continue to get better each season and be a top-of-the-lineup player for the Hurricanes.
Re-drafting the top 10
With the Tenth Overall Selection in this re-draft of the 2020 Draft, I have the Winnipeg Jets selecting Center Quinton Byfield, who was originally selected 2nd overall by the Los Angeles Kings. He slides down 9 spots.
At the 9th pick, I have the Minnesota Wild selecting Cole Perfetti. He was originally picked 10th overall by the Winnipeg Jets.
With the 8th overall pick, the Buffalo Sabres select Jack Quinn. He was originally selected by the Sabres at this same spot.
At 7th overall, the New Jersey Devils select Alexander Holtz. He is also originally selected by the Devils at the same spot.
At 6th overall, I have the Anaheim Ducks selecting Seth Jarvis. He was originally selected 13 overall by the Carolina Hurricanes. He jumps 7 spots.
At 5th overall, the Ottawa Senators miss out on Stützle but get the chance to select Alexis Lafrenière. He slides down 5 spots.
With the 4th overall pick, the Detroit Red Wings select Jamie Drysdale. He was originally selected at 6th by the Anaheim Ducks, jumping up 2 spots.
At 3rd overall, the Senators pick Jake Sanderson. They originally picked him at 5th, meaning he slides up 2 spots.
With the 2nd overall pick, the LA Kings select Lucas Raymond. He was originally picked 4th overall by the Red Wings, sliding up 2 spots.
And finally, at first overall, the New York Rangers select Tim Stützle who was originally picked 3rd overall by the Ottawa Senators.
In my opinion, Tim Stützle is the best player of the 2020 draft class so far and so far projects to have the best career, and I would put him first overall if I were to re-draft the class today.