We’ve looked at a couple of players who went through their draft years in the CHL already, but now we’re going to pivot and take a trip overseas to talk about Tim Stützle of the German Elite League. Stützle is fast, with a strong offensive game, and while somewhat divisive in where he should fall in the final ranking in some circles, he’s a dynamic player, and just a whole lot of fun.
He might not be poised to take over the mantle of the highest drafted German player (that’s still held by Leon Draisaitl, who went third overall in 2014), but he is part of this new wave of top German prospects about to break into the NHL, and that sure is exciting.
BSH 2020 Community Draft Board, No. 4: Tim Stützle
Team: Adler Manheim, DEL
Statistics: 7 G, 27 A in 41 GP
No. 1 (EU Skaters/Goalies) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 3 by Future Considerations
No. 2 by ISS Hockey
No. 7 by Wheeler/The Athletic
What’s there to like?
What immediately stands out about Stützle’s game is that he’s fast. His straight line speed is great, as is his acceleration, and all of this comes without him looking like he has to try very hard—his stride is smooth generally pretty light. He’s able to transition up-ice well, and he makes it look effortless. But it isn’t just that he has to play the game at a million miles per hour at all times, which can feel like the case with some Fast Players, but rather he equally excels at slowing down the pace of play to give himself more control of the playmaking when the situation calls for it, which gives his offensive game an extra dimension.
As far as his offensive game goes, there’s a lot to like there, as well. He scored at a good clip last season with Manheim—though he did slow down a bit at the end of the season—and flexes a quick, accurate shot that can give goalies some trouble.
There’s also something to be said for his physical maturity, here. He still has a ways to go, but it’s worth noting that he’s already playing in a professional league against men at such a young age, and doing well in the role he’s been given. The quality of competition might not be quite what we might see in the SHL or the KHL, for example, but it’s still a professional league full of grown men. So maybe his stat line might not immediately jump off the page on its own like some of the other players’ in this first round group, but it should, when you remember that he’s been put in a difficult situation, and he was really able to hit the ground running.
What’s not to like?
There really isn’t too much, but one piece is that we’d like him to play a bit more of an efficient game, at times. Stützle has a good shot, has good enough hands to beat goalies in tight, but we don’t always see him going to the front of the net for chances, even if it would serve him well to do so. This is certainly a fixable issue, to be sure, and if he does add more of this to his regular game play, it stands to reason that we’ll see him hit another gear in what’s already an impressive offensive game. We may well just be scratching the surface.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
One of the big topics of discussion to come out after the Flyers were eliminated was that it would probably serve them well to add some speed to their lineup, which makes a lot of sense. The Flyers have a couple of prospects in the pipeline who can move at a good clip, but they don’t really have a true burner waiting in the wings. Stützle is quick on his own and would add an immediate boost in speed to the Flyers’ lineup, and his strong transition game would also be an asset—the Flyers have already shown that they can play a strong transition game, but to add another player who can move the puck up-ice well is certainly a plus. There’s a good fit there.
As we’ve mentioned in earlier profiles, the Flyers aren’t exactly thin at left wing, but Stützle figures to be at least a year away from NHL ready, and it stands to reason that a spot might open up in that time, depending on what happens in the Expansion Draft or with any other future trades. But something would have to give to create a spot in the lineup for Stützle.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
Most likely, no. Stützle is likely to be off the board long before the Flyers make their pick, and probably outside of the range where the Flyers could move up to get him. There is something to be said for much of Europe remaining something of an market inefficiency, in that not all teams are dedicating the same amount of scouting resources to Europe as they are to the US and Canada, and that means that there are high skill players who slip in the draft as a result. That’s a thing that we’ve become accustomed to, but Stützle still comes into this draft with more than a fair bit of buzz, so it’s hard to imagine that a team would pass on him if he’s the best available pick, even if they haven’t scouted Manheim heavily. Which is all to say that we wouldn’t anticipate him falling far enough for the Flyers to jump up and grab him. Unfortunately.
We’ll make two additions to the poll:
Jamie Drysdale — D, Erie Otters (OHL) — 9 G, 47 A in 49 GP
On defense, Drysdale is no pushover — literally and figuratively. He may not be a big-time hitter or wallop opponents in open ice, but he’s well balanced and delivers very hard shoves that not only prove to be just as effective, but are conducted without taking himself out of position. As stated earlier, Drysdale plays very close to his line and maintains a tight gap in 1-on-1 situations, using the aforementioned shove or a stick thrust while chest-gazing his opponents all the way through. He definitely is a roamer, however, and rarely marries himself to slot duties — if Drysdale isn’t behind the net battling for possession, he’s charging at the points or chasing a puck-carrying forward while fixing him away from the scoring areas. Naturally, this tactic leads to some gaps in coverage, but the strategy behind his decisions is mostly coherent. He is used in all situations, and his ice time increases in late/close scenarios. Clearly the best defenseman available for the draft and a prospect with big time point-producing potential. - The Draft Analyst
“Drysdale’s got some fucking size on him,” — one source to Scott Wheeler of the Athletic
Anton Lundell — C, HIFK (Liiga)— 10 G, 18 A in 44 GP
It always feels like Lundell is involved and impacting a game (with and without the puck). Throughout a game, that drives results. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that as a teenager in a top pro league, Lundell had a positive impact on possession, played more than 15 minutes a night or won 53.5 percent of his draws while producing offence consistently. - The Athletic
2020 BSH Community Draft Board
- Alexis Lafreniere — LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
- Quinton Byfield — C, Sudbury (OHL)
- Marco Rossi — C, Ottawa (OHL)
- Tim Stützle — LW/C, Manheim (DEL)
Please use your vote below to answer the following question: If all of the players listed were available when the Flyers were on the clock, who would you want them to pick?
Who should be No. 6 on the 2020 BSH Community Draft Board?
This poll is closed