Prospects News & Rumors: Stuetzle, Robertson & Farrell

Today’s edition of “Prospects News & Rumors” has a Canadian flair to it as we look at three young players who are hopefully going to make an impact in the home country of hockey. The Ottawa Senators got a first-hand look at the top prospect in their system this morning. A future sniper in Toronto showed why Maple Leafs fans are excited. Finally, a recent Montreal Canadiens draft pick continues to tear it up in the United States Hockey League (USHL).

Stuetzle Takes the Ice in Ottawa

After spending a few days in quarantine following the World Junior Championship, Tim Stuetzle finally joined his Senators teammates for practice on Sunday morning. He showed up bright and early before putting on his No. 18 sweater for the first time and taking to the ice.

“I was very excited just getting here and getting to know all the boys,” Stuetzle told TSN 1200 in Ottawa this morning. “I am looking forward to getting to play with them. It was just an unbelievable day.”

The Senators selected the 6-foot forward with the third overall pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the first of three first-round picks Ottawa had this year. He scored seven goals and 34 points for Adler Manheim in Germany’s DEL during the 2019-20 season. The soon to be 19-year-old had his 2020-21 delayed after suffering a broken arm.

He made his on-ice debut for Germany at the World Junior Championship and showed the entire hockey world why the Senators invested a top-three pick in him. In five games, he scored five goals and 10 points. He had to play big minutes as Germany only dressed 14 players for the first three games due to eight players testing positive for COVID-19. He was named to the tournament’s All-Star Team as he led the Germans into the elimination round for the first time ever.

Robertson Blasts One Home

Many American hockey fans were upset with the Maple Leafs when they decided to not allow Nick Robertson to play in the World Junior Championship. While he would have been a fantastic addition, his absence did not derail the United States’ goal medal run.

The biggest reason the Leafs kept Robertson back is that they wanted the 19-year-old forward to focus on the upcoming NHL season. The second-round pick (53rd overall) from the 2019 NHL Entry Draft has a very good shot at making Toronto’s roster out of training camp. During Saturday night’s intrasquad scrimmage, he showed off his killer of a slap shot with this goal.

“He knows he’s in a fight here to make our team,” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said of Robertson. “With how much he’s put into it all, I’m not so sure he would’ve forgiven us if we put him in a situation where he had to miss an opportunity to compete in camp. But I know that he’s a proud American and loved his experience with the world juniors there [in 2020].

“He’s as focused an individual I’ve seen in the community of hockey, and he really wants to be part of this camp.”

At the very least, it appears that Robertson will start the season with the team’s taxi squad, but it might be hard to keep him out of the lineup with a shot like that.

Farrell Keeps on Rolling

Sean Farrell was supposed to be enjoying this freshman season at Harvard University, but when the COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the college hockey season he elected to stay in the USHL. The Chicago Steel are very happy he returned for a second season with the team.

After scoring 15 goals and 56 points in 44 games with the Steel last season, he is off to a fantastic start to the 2020-21 season. He came up huge with a goal and three assists in Saturday night’s 11-2 blowout of the United States U17 team.

Farrell now has 10 goals and 29 points through his first 16 games of the season. He is scoring at a 1.81 points per game average, much higher than the 1.27 P/G he had during his draft season. The Steel improved to 12-3-2-0 and lead the Eastern Conference with 26 points. They seeking their second USHL championship in the past five seasons after winning the 2020 Anderson Cup for being the best team of the 2019-20 shortened regular season.