Adler Mannheim (DEL)
Steve Kournianos | 10/17/2019 | Nashville |
Position: Center/Left Wing
Height / Weight: 6’1, 185 lbs
Born: January 15th, 2002 | Viersen, Germany
The Draft Analyst Ranking:
An ideal-sized gamebreaker with smarts and outstanding skating ability, Stützle has taken the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) by storm, and the buzz already has reached North American shores earlier into his draft year than expected. Originally committed to the University of New Hampshire and the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, Stützle opted to sign a three-year pro contract with Mannheim, which last season featured eventual sixth-overall pick Moritz Seider. Stützle has assumed the role of Mannheim’s cornerstone building block, although it remains to be seen how much longer he stays in Germany — the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds own his import rights. Nonetheless, he is all but guaranteed to spearhead Germany’s attack at under-20 world junior hockey championship in December.
Stützle is as close to a finished product as you’ll find in a 17-year-old forward. He plays both center and wing, although with Mannheim he’s be utilized exclusively on the flank. His quickness on or off the puck is evident from the second he hits the ice, and his reputation as a high-volume scorer does not limit his abilities to forecheck with tenacity or finish his checks with authority. He constantly stays in motion and tracks (and predicts) puck travel far more consistently than the averge first-year draft eligible. This acute sense allows Stützle to apply a tremendous amount of physical pressure on opposing defensemen, who even at their advanced age still commit critical turnovers in the face of his relentless hounding. He operates a very quick stick, and his hand-eye coordination helps him bat down elevated passes before softly corraling the puck flat on his blade. He takes smart routes to the puck and plays with his head up in order to identify gaps in coverage, which means there is more to his defensive game than you’d think. He exerts a lot of energy from whistle to whistle, but running on an empty tank doesn’t have him gunning for the bench at the earliest chance — Stützle likes to be involved in plays and create chances, and it seems like a set of tired legs won’t stop him from doing so.
Stützle is an excellent skater in all areas. His first step is explosive; his skating style is slightly upright and fluid; and he generates power in his clean, textbook strides. Although he’s more of a north-south skater in the neutral zone, Stützle transitions to a slippery sidewinder after the opposing territory is breached. He breaks ankles, spins off pressure, and uses a series of shoulder fakes and head bobs to gain entry in between the circles. He attracts a significant amount of attention from the entire opposing unit, and powering through hard shoves or a heavy lean while gliding around the net or near the line validates his balance and edgework as well above average. He seems to have a gamer’s attitude on the ice but also comes across as a kid simply enjoying the game he loves.
Now for the fun stuff. Stützle is an exceptional playmaker and a dual-threat once he has the puck and is heading towards the scoring areas. He has soft hands and a phenomenal touch, and he is more than confident (and competent) at attempting to feather or saucer passes from in close. Stützle roofs the puck with regularity on either forehand or backhand, and he appears to understand the importance of puck positioning on his blade. If he rushes a shot, the accuracy remains, but he also has the wherewithal to out-wait a goalie or defensemen before finishing a play off with a trick pass or shot. His wrist shot is deadly, specifically from between the circles, and he is consistent in labeling shots towards the long side when receiving a cross-slot pass. In terms of special teams, Stützle impacts the power play on an expert level. Not only can he gain the zone cleanly regardless of whether defensemen are respecting his speed, but he limits the amount of forced passes from the half wall. He’s also fearless and a quick decision maker, thus keeping the opposing penalty kill off balance. Stützle does not kill penalties at the adult level, but he’s been one of Germany’s reliable faceoff men during international competition.
#ChampionsHockey: C Tim Stutzle (Ranked No. 17) showing off his control and confidence while taking the puck into the minefields. Adler Mannheim trails Djugardens 4-3 after 40. pic.twitter.com/37InWu54BI
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) October 8, 2019
#ChampionsHockeyLeague: Tim Stutzle having himself a game. Already with a primary assist and being used on the PP. Effort in puck and board battles very high and super slippery coming off the wall. He toe dragged into a wrister right before making this set up for a point shot. pic.twitter.com/c2N9CMZtNt
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) September 6, 2019