Senators Have Franchise-Altering Draft with Stuetzle & Sandersonby Dom Lunardo October 20, 2020 0 comments
The 2020 NHL Entry Draft will go down in history as one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. Hockey fans from around the globe were treated to high impact names such as Alexis Lafreniere, Jamie Drysdale, Lucas Raymond, Alexander Holtz, Quinton Byfield, Jack Quinn, and numerous others. These players will all have new zip codes in the coming years under the bright lights of the National Hockey League.
The Ottawa Senators were one of the most intriguing clubs leading up to the draft. They held picks three, five, and 28, in addition to their late-round selections. Who did the Senators select with their two top-five picks, how soon can we see them, and how impactful will the pair be at the NHL level? Let’s have a look.
Tim Stuetzle, C/LW
First up is German-born sensation Tim Stuetzle, whom the Senators selected with the third overall pick. Stuetzle is blessed with an all-world skill set and the innate ability to take over any game. The Sens hit the proverbial jackpot with the so-called “second coming” of Oilers reigning league MVP Leon Draisaitl. On the ice, Ottawa fans will be treated to a superb stick-handler who can make plays with speed, precision, and ease. When in possession of the puck, Stuetzle can make plays at a high level. He can set up his teammates in prime positions, or light the lamp himself. Stuetzle is strong on his skates, excellent with his edges, and sees the ice brilliantly for a player of his age.
This past season with Alder Mannheim in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Stuetzle tallied seven goals and 34 points in 41 games played. This is an 18-year-old (who actually played the majority of the season at age 17) playing against men 5-12 years his senior. A threat on each and every shift, this kid should easily slot in as one of Ottawa’s most dynamic players as early as next season. The Germans aren’t coming, they are here! The Senators and their passionate fan base across eastern Canada have their main man in Stuetzle.
Jake Sanderson, D
Next up is Jake Sanderson, who is widely regarded as the best defenseman of his class. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, he has good size for a youngster and should eclipse the 200-pound plateau by the time he enters the NHL. Although his precise NHL timetable is uncertain, one thing we know is that hockey fans from coast to coast will marvel at what the Whitefish, Montana native can do on the ice. This is a phenomenal pick for the Senators. Sanderson can be one of the next top-shelf defensive talents in a league jam-packed with elite-level talent on the blue line. He is that good.
The city of Ottawa will be treated to a superior defender with puck-moving and offensive ability aplenty. Sanderson is agile, quick on his edges, excellent in all three zones, and a real pain in the butt to play against.
He is dynamic, shifty, intelligent, and isn’t afraid to play the body; something that the Senators coveted leading up to the draft. Alongside defensive stalwart Thomas Chabot, Sanderson is the prototypical top-pairing blue-liner who can log big minutes. He will play in all situations and can impact the outcome of a game in a variety of ways. This kid is an absolute dandy and should be on the fast-track to the NHL within the next year or so. Get ready, Sens fans, the Sanderson train is about to leave the station!
State of the Senators in 2020-21
As Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and head coach D.J. Smith configure their roster ahead of next season, the Senators remain one of the most exciting young teams in the NHL. This is a franchise that’s certainly on the rise. One which should be competing for a spot in the postseason sooner rather than later. The 2020 NHL Draft was a reminder of how much young talent the Sens have streamed down the pipeline and that their future has a ton of promise. It won’t be long before both Stuetzle and Sanderson don the famous white, black, red, and gold of Ottawa. Remember these names, hockey fans.
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