Tim Stützle – 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

The Hockey Writers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Guide

Tim Stützle

2019-20 Team: Adler Mannheim
Date of Birth: Jan. 15, 2002
Place of Birth: Viersen, Germany
Ht: 6-foot Wt: 187 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: C
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible

Rankings

First, there was Leon Draisitl. Then, there was Moritz Seider. Now, it’s Tim Stützle’s turn. Germany has been rising up the ranks in prospect development over the past few years, and there’s another bona fide star that will be knocking at the NHL door as soon as next season in Stützle.

Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Stützle has been putting on a performance for years in Germany, absolutely dominating every league he plays in – which is always much higher than his own age. This season, the centreman turned 18 and was playing in a men’s league, finishing with seven goals, 27 assists, and 34 points in 41 games. Last season, turning 17 halfway through, he played in the U20 league, racking up 23 goals, 32 assists, and 55 points in only 21 games. It’s safe to say he’s good.

Let’s go back to this year’s totals. While that might not jump off the page when Marco Rossi is over in the OHL putting up 120 points, you need to remember that Stützle is playing against men, in a professional league. Playing at that stage is a remarkable feat that should not be taken lightly. With the season over, he finishes first in DEL history in points-per-game as an under-18 player at 0.83. That’s very impressive.

What Stützle brings to the ice truly is a complete package. This is what prompted some to put him as the second overall ranked player in the draft. He’s an excellent skater, combining agility with a quick first step and a high top speed. His hands are among the best in this draft class, holding the puck on a string as he dipsy-doodles through defenders.

Tim Stützle Adler Mannheim
Tim Stützle of Adler Mannheim (Photo Credit: Simon Hastegård/Bildbyrån).

His best trait (arguably) is his playmaking. Stützle sees the ice so well, setting up his teammates with passes that the majority of players – NHLers included – couldn’t make. I’d like to see him shoot more because he has a great wrist shot, but the passing seems to be working for him as well so it’s hard to want to change a thing about his game.

Especially for his age, the German is a very smart, patient player. Even in the most high-stress situations (like the 2020 World Junior Championship where he put up five assists in five games), he remains calm and collected, waiting for the best opportunity to present himself. He doesn’t force the play, making the smart move in most cases.

This intelligence is evident in his own end as well, where he never gives up. He has a nose for the puck and if it’s not on his stick, he’s doing everything he can to get it back there. Despite his young age and average size, he’s not afraid to battle for the puck against the men in the league, often winning those puck battles already. Once he gets it back, he makes smart decisions to get the puck out of his end and up the ice.

Stützle is one of the most well-rounded prospects in the 2020 NHL Draft. There’s no question that whichever team gets the opportunity to draft him will be happy with their choice for years to come.

Other THW Draft Profiles:

Tim Stützle – NHL Draft Projection

The top of this draft is stacked, but Stützle is near the top of that pile. At this point, the German sensation should be at the very least a top-four pick, likely coming in somewhere behind Alexis Lafrenière. For what it’s worth, Leon Draisitl was taken third overall in 2014. Stützle is going to come in around that range, potentially becoming the new highest-drafted German ever.

Quotables

“The fastest skater in the draft, Stützle is the kind of attacking forward who takes space and quickly makes it disappear. Defenders either have to build in a larger gap before he gets going, or they have to try to push up on him … and they’re probably going to get burned either way. He shuffles and crosses over up the ice, weaving through the neutral zone to put defenders on their heels and create exits and entries with ease. And though I sometimes worry that he’s too rush-reliant and that he’s not as dangerous within the offensive zone as some of his peers… Stützle is a superb passer and handler who knifes through lanes and finish around the net… His ability to carve through the neutral zone and make defenders turn is super impressive, and then he’s got filthy middle-of-the-ice playmaking once he gets there.” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic (From: “Wheeler: Midseason ranking for the 2020 NHL Draft’s top 62 prospects” – The Athletic – Feb. 19, 2020)

“An ideal-sized gamebreaker with smarts and outstanding skating ability…Stützle is as close to a finished product as you’ll find in a 17-year-old forward…Stützle is an excellent skater in all areas. His first step is explosive; his skating style is slightly upright and fluid; and he generates power in his clean, textbook strides…Stützle is an exceptional playmaker and a dual-threat once he has the puck and is heading towards the scoring areas.” – Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst

“Stützle is an excellent skater who combines high-end speed with incredible quickness. He also has quick hands which make him dangerous in one-on-one situations. He makes sharp and accurate passes, and although known as a pass-first player, he also owns a dangerous wrist shot. On top of all that, Stützle is a very quick thinker which allows him to process plays at top speed and even when he is pressured. Stützle is known as an offensive forward but he has shown significant improvement in his play without the puck and isn’t a defensive liability. He is hungry for loose pucks and has shown great effort in puck-battles when he’s trying to steal the puck. Stützle has a pretty good understanding of his defensive responsibilities and he doesn’t cheat from those.” – Jokke Nevalainen, DobberProspects

Strengths

  • Skating
  • Playmaking
  • Vision
  • Intelligence

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Strength

NHL Potential

Top-line, number-one centreman. Stützle oozes top-line potential and after playing a season in the DEL against men, he might be ready to make his NHL debut in the 2020-21 NHL season. He won’t start out on the top-line, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him getting top-six minutes with his new club next year.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 1/5, Reward – 4.5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 9.5/10, Defence – 8/10

Awards/Achievements

In the 2017-18 season, Stützle put up 47 points in 25 games for Jungadler Mannheim U19 (he turned 16 halfway through this season), adding another eight points in five playoff games, helping his team to the DNL Championship. That season, he played on the U18 World Junior team, then in the D1A division, helping them to a silver medal with four points in five games.

In 2018-19, he helped that German team again in the D1A World Juniors, this time winning a gold medal and a promotion to the top division. He collected nine points in five games, including a tournament-leading seven assists, and was named the best forward in the event.

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