Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Tim Stutzle.
Germany is emerging as a top hockey nation and the 2020 NHL Draft class features another high-end prospect from the country. Tim Stutzle is playing in the DEL, the top German league, putting up seven goals and 27 assists for 34 points in 41 games playing against men. It was enough to earn Stutzle the DEL Rookie of the Year Award. He also scored two goals and five points in eight Champions Hockey League games. Stutzle also played for Germany at the World Juniors, scoring five assists in five games.
Last season, Stutzle put up 23 goals and 55 points in just 21 games in the German Under-20 league last year. He helped his Under-20 team to the DNL Championship. He added another four goals and 11 points in five playoff games. An underage forward, he led Germany to gold (and promotion) in the 1A Division at the IIHF Under-18s. He put up two goals and nine points in five games, winning best forward at the tournament. In 2018, as a double-underage player, he put up four points in five games.
Tim Stutzle Scouting Report
Left Wing/Centre — shoots Left
Born January 15th, 2002 — Viersen, Germany
Height 6’1″ — Weight 187 lbs [185 cm/85 kg]
Stutzle is amongst the best skaters in the entire draft class. He can absolutely fly. He also has very good acceleration. His ability to change speeds can be used as a weapon to fool defenders. Stutzle has outstanding agility and edgework. He can change directions on a dime. This makes him extremely dangerous off the rush. His ability to beat defenders in a number of ways forces them to back off, opening up passing and shooting lanes. Stutzle could stand to become a bit stronger though. He is slight right now and can be pushed off the puck at times. As he matures, he should be able to add some muscle to his frame.
Stutzle adds to his impressive skating with the soft hands and quick stickhandling to control the puck while moving at top speed and making his quick cuts. This gives him the ability to be a truly dynamic forward. He can make a defender look silly if they don’t give him respect, and before the defender knows it, Stutzle is behind them and cutting to the net. As they back off, Stutzle is able to find the open lane and set up a teammate for a scoring chance. He has good vision and the ability to read the play, finding openings others do not always see. He can also work off the half-boards on the power play, controlling the puck and setting up teammates.
Stutzle sometimes has a tendency to over-pass though. His shot is decent but could use a bit more power. That should come with more bulk. He should use his shot more often though, as his ability to release the puck from multiple angles fools goaltenders. Stutzle is able to quickly pull off a toe-drag or quick dangle to change his release point. He needs to get stronger though, as this will allow Stutzle to be more effective in the dirty areas of the ice and to create more points at even strength. He is not afraid to be involved in the physical side of the game, but he must get stronger.
Stuzle’s defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. He has a tendency to puck watch and get out of position, leaving his man open for good scoring opportunities. This improved as the season went on though and should continue to improve with good coaching. In his own zone, he is willing to help the defence down low and work against the cycle. This is another area of his game where added strength will make a difference. While Stutzle is not a good defender right now, he certainly has the tools, including an ability to read the play and think ahead that will allow him to improve going forward.
Projection and Comparison
Stutzle has mainly played on the wing in the DEL, but with his size and playmaking ability, it is easy to see a future transition to centre. He might need another year of development, working at playing in the middle of the ice and bulking up, but when he reaches the NHL he could become a franchise-level centre. Stutzle’s game is reminiscent of Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It should be noted though, that this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent level.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Tim Stutzle that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Tim Stutzle Main Photo: Image Courtesy of https://www.kicker.de/757476/artikel