After Thursday’s 3-2 Senators win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, Connor Brown called linemate Tim Stützle, “a star in the making.” Brown certainly isn’t wrong after the 19-year was in on all three of his team’s goals, notching one while adding two assists.
At 19 years, 20 days per NHL stats, Stützle became the second-youngest Senators’ player to compile three or more points in one game. Alexandre Daigle also accomplished this feat in 1993-94 at 18 years, 244 days.
In addition, Stützle, Daigle, and Alexei Yashin are the only Senators’ teens to notch goals in three consecutive games – a feat the Viersen, Germany resident accomplished, firing a quick snapshot stick-side passed Canadiens all-star goalie Carey Price.
The young forward appears to be gaining confidence and displaying a progression in every game rarely seen in a rookie player.
Witness Thursday evening, Stützle was elevated by Senators’ head coach D.J. Smith to the club’s number one power play unit, where he scored his goal.
The goal came 18 seconds after Stützle made a nifty cross-ice pass to Chris Tierney who set up Thomas Chabot for the team’s first marker.
— Everyday.Sens (@EverydaySens) February 5, 2021
Smith on his decision to promote Stützle to his no.1 PP unit.
“He’s dangerous. He can shoot the puck in motion. He doesn’t stickhandle it. He’s just dynamic every game. He’s just getting better. He’s a threat all over the ice. Drake (Batherson), I believe is an exceptional passer – and if he’s available there, I think Tim can put it away. And the same for Tim back there to Drake. I think he’s going to be a guy who’s obviously going to be a guy who’s going to be doing this for a long time here. It’s amazing he’s doing it this soon.”
— Everyday.Sens (@EverydaySens) February 5, 2021
Stützle’s hockey sense and the speed in which he performs is special to watch – especially after skating in only eight NHL games.
“He’s adjusting pretty well to North America right now. You see him, just the way he skates – sees the ice – he makes plays. It’s one of a kind. He’s the third pick overall. There’s a reason why,” marveled Chabot.
“He’s so quick, so fast. It’s always a bit harder at the start for guys coming from Europe, for guys playing on the big ice to get used to playing in the NHL.”
Stützle is currently tied for the rookie lead in goals (4) with Blackhawks’ forwards Philipp Kurashev and Pius Suter. And his six points ties him with teammate Josh Norris for the Senators freshman lead.
Kiril Kaprizov of the Wild is tops among all rookies with nine points.
Identified by Smith as his best forward on the night, Stützle was rewarded by receiving ice-time in the final minute of a one-goal game.
The Senators’ bench boss told Full Press NHL, “He’s going to have to learn eventually. I think he’s going to be on the ice for and against in the foreseeable future. You’ve seen he had an unbelievable track in the second period. He’s the best skater on our team. At the end of the day, he knows the right way to play, even for a young kid. You have got to put some trust in these young kids. How are they going to build confidence if they don’t get the opportunity? I just thought he was our best player all night, why not?”
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