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Draft Prospect Profile: Tim Stützle
By: Logan Orsini
The past couple of years, eyes have been turning to the German hockey pipeline. Leon Draisaitl led the NHL in points this season and is a frontrunner to win the Hart Memorial Trophy for best player in the league. Detroit Red Wings defensive prospect Moritz Seider is regarded as one of the best young, up and coming players in the world. Now, Tim Stützle is stepping onto the center stage of the hockey world as being regarded as the best European player in this year’s draft.
Stütlze is projected to be a top 10 pick in this year’s NHL Draft, mostly being projected around the 2nd to 5th pick. Stützle played for Adler Mannheim of the German Professional League (DEL). He stands at around 6’0, 165 pounds. He put up 34 points including 27 assists in 41 games this season. Remember, he was only 17 years old playing against a lot of older players in the DEL. He also represented Germany at the World Junior Classic, putting up 5 assists in 5 games. He mostly plays center but is often used at wing while in the DEL.
Stützle was a top prospect coming into the World Juniors, but after his performance, his draft stock rose even more. Watching his World Junior performance, I say he was a top 5 player at the tournament. Germany was not the best team there, the only star power they had was of Stützle and Moritz Seider. Stützle carried a weak German team on his back through the tournament. He was great on both sides of the ice and created numerous scoring opportunities while also being a force defensively. His performance truly did impress.
Stützle best ability is his playmaking and offensive zone presence. His passing skill is absurd being able to find his teammates anywhere on the ice. His skating ability is of top-notch as well, he has great acceleration and speed with or without the puck. His hockey IQ is very high, he has a way of reading the defense so well and punishes defenseman for playing too softly, or too aggressively. One thing I noticed is that he always seems to be the puck possessor on his line, waiting patiently for the right moment to make a play using his speed and passing. On the power play, he spearheads the breakout using his speed and crossovers to carry the puck into the zone, allowing his teammates to get open and set up.
His offense gets a lot of praise, but he has the ability to be a great two-way center as well. His defense positioning and stick work are good as well, being able to knock the puck off opponents stick and turn it the other way. He is able to be used in all situations on the ice, from power play to penalty kills and crucial moments late in a game.
What I love most about Stützle’s game is his tenacity all over the ice. He never backs down from any situation and is hard on the forecheck, backcheck, and is willing to throw his body around to make a hit or take a hit, to make a play. His style reminds me a lot of Mitch Marner’s of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The only downside I see to his game is that he does not tend to shoot the puck too much. He has a great shot that is very accurate, but he seems to be a pass-first center. Still, the Ducks need forwards with strong offensive upside, and Stützle certainly brings a lot of tools to the table.
A lot of projections are seeing Quinton Byfield go second overall behind Alexis Lafreniere, but I would not be surprised seeing the team with the second overall pick taking Stützle. As for my somewhat expert prediction, I do not see Stützle falling out of the top three. This year’s draft is stacked with talent, and I put Stützle as the second-best player. The way he put such a not so good German team on his back was extremely impressive.
The rise of German hockey is upon us.
The NHL draft lottery is this week, and after those results, we will have a better feel for who Anaheim will be taking based on their position. More on that soon…
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June 24th, 2020