Before the pre-season gets too far along, let’s have a projection of Tim Stutzle’s 50-goal campaign likelihood. Will Stutzle ever score 50 in an NHL season? Likely. Is 2023-24 that season? Let me put it another way, who on the Ottawa Senators will put up 60 assists in 2023-24? If you are wondering why I ask this last, tangential question, to answer our main one, read on to find out.
Goal Projection for the Ottawa Senators Young Star Tim Stutzle in 2023-24
We have already looked into how many points Stutzle will score in 2023-24, now for discussion on goals. In our previous study, we were leaning toward the upper bounds of potential totals. Therefore, we assumed Brady Tkachuk, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Stutzle would all have big seasons on a line together. Also, the trick would be doubling up with a similar composition on the power play. We landed at a total of 105 points for Stutzle. Not that farfetched when you consider his growth, age, and last season’s totals. Now, how many of those points do we reasonably guess will be goals?
The Stu and Brady Show
One stat that will help identify Stutzle’s projected goal total, would be his shots. Or perhaps better yet, how often Tkachuk doesn’t shoot. Last season, Stutzle had an impressive 228 shots on goals. Impressive, yes. But still leaving the observer for more. What was more impressive, and might be difficult for Stutzle to exceed, was his 17.1 shooting %. Tkachuk relies heavily on his shot (347) but is nowhere as accurate (10.1 %). Tkachuk also had 97 shots on the power play. If he is willing to share the load, maybe Stutzle gets more from that fact alone.
What About the League’s Other Superstars?
So, what does it really mean to share the load? If we looked at the top-five goal-getters from a year ago, they all had distributors. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl for the Oilers had 64 and 52 goals, and 89 and 76 assists, respectively. Each of them was the others set up man, especially on the man advantage. Mikko Rantanen in Colorado had 55 goals, to go along with Nathan MacKinnon’s 69 assists. David Pastrnak’s 61 had Brad Marchand with 46 assists, 20 of them on the power play. David Krejci as well, as Pastrnak played with different line combinations occasionally. Also, Brayden Point had Nikita Kucherov, with Point’s 51 goals, supported by Kucherov’s stellar 83 helpers.
Is there a linemate with Stutzle who can hit these types of meteoric assist totals? The answer is yes. Tkachuk had a career-high 48 last year. Not sure if you believe in coincidences, but that’s the exact same fact about Tarasenko’s 2021-22. Thus, if Tarasenko can be the shooter, and Brady finds a way to be a passer more, the sky’s the limit. It is not that inconceivable that Brady could decide against shooting, or shooting for rebounds. Then, with Stutzle buzzing around the offensive zone, be the beneficiary more often than not.
One Final Thought on Tim Stutzle’s Goal Projections
For Tim Stutzle’s projection of goals for the upcoming season, it is hard to say. It seems he is likely to have a similar line to last year, given his style. Putting up 39 goals and 51 assists seems to be a logical prediction for his goals-to-assists ratio. He should increase his totals overall. Furthermore, there are some things that point to an improvement and some that hint at a challenge to achieve. The fact that his trajectory is only going up, means he will likely flirt with 45 goals this season. Also, why he will, with a probable outcome, eclipse 50 at some point in his career. On the other hand, that shooting percentage from last year seems like a solid benchmark. If he is to top 45, and reach for 50, look for Brady to be the setup man off the net drive, and Stu to be firing at will.
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