Senators in awe of Stuetzle’s maturity and energy at training camp


It’s a bit early to anoint the arrival of “Timmy Franchise”.
Give the child a chance to settle down before measuring him for his bronze statue.

Still, there was no doubt the excitement in town and online, as rookie forward Tim Stuetzle entered his first practice session with the Ottawa Senators.

Stuetzle, after spending a week in quarantine in Ottawa following his participation in the junior world championships in Edmonton, was picked up by one of his new teammates at 6:40 a.m. Sunday and after meeting with members of the team and staff, was on the ice. for a morning skate.

At the urging of Brady Tkachuk, Stuetzle led the stretch.

“It was pretty funny,” Stuetzle said on a Zoom call with reporters. “But I loved doing it.”

Stuetzle, who was only 19 on the opening day of the Senators’ season against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Canadian Tire Center on Friday, smiled when cameras caught him stepping onto the ice for the first time. He was beaming again on the Zoom call.

“It was very exciting to get here and get to know everyone, get to know all the boys,” Stuetzle said.

“It was just an amazing day so far. It was a great practice and I’m so excited to be here now.

Veteran Derek Stepan, who was also in quarantine last week after his wife gave birth in Arizona on December 30 to the couple’s third, has already earned the name “stepfather” for his role as a mentor to Stuetzle. The two got acquainted through distance physical workouts at the hotel. Stepan was also in the center on a Sunday practice line flanked by Stuetzle to his left and Evgenii Dadonov to the right.

“I got to know him a bit,” Stepan said of Stuetzle. “He’s a good kid. I joked with my wife that I had three little ones at home and adopted an 18 year old German.

Interestingly, Stepan used some of his time in quarantine to study this young German striker who dazzled his way of being named top striker by IIHF management in the tournament for a German team that struck overhead. of its weight. Ottawa, of course, made Stuetzle the third pick in the October 6 draft.

Stepan searched for clips of Stuetzle in action and highlighted his obvious talent in Senators training on Sunday. More than anything, however, Stepan has been in awe of Stuetzle’s character expressed over the past week.

“I kind of had the feeling before I even got on the ice with him that he was behaving in a mature fashion, which is a great thing for an 18-year-old,” Stepan said.

Acquired during a December 27 trade with the Arizona Coyotes, Stepan likes the fact that despite all the buzz that comes before him, Stuetzle didn’t come here acting like he owns the place. Stuetzle is confident, brash in his game, especially the game, but brings a measure of humility to all this fanfare.

“He’s a kid, you can see him just in a practice, he’s got a lot of talent,” Stepan said. “And it was good to see he was nervous too. He was a little nervous before practice, so he made his way through and did a good job of getting comfortable.

“Like I said, he’s a good kid. It’s really easy to work with him.

Stuetzle is getting used to all the attention, first as an 18-year-old playing with men in the German League. Then the top three, followed by their WOW factor at the World Junior Championships. Even the way he taps his staff – bare at the bottom, with a strip of horizontal tape across the blade – started a fire. The Spittin ‘Chiclets Twitter feed called the duct tape a “crime scene” and made other references that may not be suitable for a family audience.

It could become a thing in Ottawa – minor hockey players making “The Stuetzle” with their duct tape. Or, “Timmy Tape” style.

Stuetzle takes all the hype in his long stride.

“It’s great for me, but first I have to prove myself at this level,” he says. “And that’s my goal. I hope I have a good training camp and play a good season. It’s great to have everyone excited, but first I have to prove myself at this level and play good hockey.

Senators head coach DJ Smith was thrilled to finally have his full roster available for the first time at camp. With Stuetzle and Stepan, defender Erik Brannstrom is out of quarantine. He was presented as a precaution after being near someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Smith’s first impression of Stuetzle:

“Her skating is exceptional,” said Smith. “He can play games. He’s good on the power play.

“For a young man, you just don’t want to give him too much, just give him the things, dos and don’ts. But I think part of the development is learning on the fly and (Sunday) he was with Stepper, who was at the hotel with him and helping.

“The kid looked excited to be there and it’s great when you have young guys with energy like that.”

Smith hinted that veteran center Chris Tierney could also work with Stuetzle, to help isolate him a bit as he kicks off his NHL career. The head coach is already thinking about clashes with a pair of upcoming games against John Tavares, Auston Matthews and company.

“He’s responsible,” Smith said of Stuetzle, “and at some point he will play in any situation.

We want to put him where he has the best chance of success and obviously his way of doing things will dictate it. He’s a young player and we want him to develop well.

Although Stepan may be her “stepfather,” Stuetzle will not be living with a family. He will share his accommodation with two 21-year-olds – Tkachuk and Josh Norris.

“They asked me and that’s good,” Stuetzle said. “It will make it easier for me to know everyone.”

The last time we heard about Tkachuk’s living conditions, he was the quarterback in an indoor soccer game with Norris and Colin White during his quarantine.

Now it’s the game with Stuetzle.

Hope they have good home insurance.

Camp cut to come

Smith said the list will be split after Monday’s scrum.

“After (that) we’ll have a really good idea of ​​who’s going to be here, who’s going to start against the Leafs on Friday,” Smith said.

By Tuesday, Smith plans to have his lines and defensive pairs more or less established for the remainder of the week. After home games against the Leafs Friday-Saturday, the Senators host the Winnipeg Jets for a pair (Jan. 19-21) before going on a seven-game road trip.

After giving up defenseman Max Lajoie on Sunday, the Senators made a series of additional quitting moves ahead of Monday’s scrum. Excluded: D Christian Jaros, F Micheal Haley, F Filip Chlapik, F Jean-Christophe Beaudin, F Logan Shaw and F Matthew Peca.


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