What are the expectations for Tim Stützle in Ottawa this season?
There has been a lot of talk about the Ottawa Senators rebuild, where it is and what is still to come over the next year or two. The team has some quality, and much of that is young, but there is one player in particular who could well determine the success and direction of this franchise for the next few years.
That is Tim Stützle, drafted 3rd overall in the 2020 draft by Ottawa, and set to be the most potent attacking force on this roster for the next decade. If Stützle develops quickly and puts points on the board this coming season, the Sens may choose to move away from full rebuild mode and try to go and get help that can surround the German forward.
If that doesn’t happen, it may be more rebuilding, more developing and a couple of years until the Sens have any kind of NHL relevance again. The odds on success this season are big, with bookmakers like 32Red Sports offering big odds for the Sens to win the Stanley Cup, with expectations being firmly that they are closer to the bottom of the league than the top.
How Many Points Can Stützle Score This Season?
The 2020/21 NHL season was shortened, so the full picture of what Stützle can achieve is only going to become clear this season. The hype was there, and considering how bad the team was, the German forward did enough to give fans hope, eventually finishing with 12 goals and 29 total points from 53 games in a Sens uniform.
So, how will that translate to this season?
There were many proclaiming that Tim Stützle had arrived last season, and the expectation is that he just keeps improving from the position he is in right now. A simple projection from 53 games to 82 would see Stützle hit around 45 points in a full season.
That is of course based on him playing at the same level as last season, and there are two reasons why that could well go up and be better.
The first is ice time. The Senators spread out their ice time last season, but as they look to find their offensive feet, they are likely to bulk up ice time for the bigger names. Stützle averaged 15:44 TOI last season, expect him to have a little more this season, around 18:00 seems likely, which is more than two minutes per game more than last season. That seems minimal, but added up, that is over two and a half hours more on the ice across the season.
Secondly, the majority of people are expecting both Stützle and the team as a whole to do much better next season. Natural progression should take care of that, the team have a lot of youngsters on the roster, and if only a few of them move forward, that should help the team.
A minimum total in an injury free season for Stützle has to be 50 points. However, the closer that gets to 60, and possibly beyond, the more chance of success in Ottawa.