Ramblings: Stützle’s Extension and his Future Value; Thoughts on Conor Timmins – September 9

Michael Clifford

2022-09-09

Ottawa locked up another one of its core pieces on Wednesday as they signed centre/winger Tim Stützle to an eight-year deal worth north of $8M a year on the cap. The third overall pick from 2020 has one year left on his entry-level deal, managed 22 goals and 36 assists last season, and is primed to start the year on the second line for Ottawa with Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux.

For cap league owners, like the extension given to Tage Thompson, there's a big decision to make. Not that the two are on comparable development curves given the age difference, but projecting their future after a breakout season is one thread they do have in common. A monster pay raise over what they had been making is another.

For that reason, it's worth looking at what Stützle has done so far in his career, what others like him have done for their careers, and whether he has the upside to justify the cap hit he'll carry after the 2022-23 season. We are going to use Natural Stat Trick and our Frozen Tools for most of our data. Others will be cited as they're used.

We'll start with something that isn't data-related, at least not directly. Just watching Stützle in his second season, there was an obvious change in his play away from the puck. The guy was an absolute bloodhound in tracking the puck when the opposition had it. Whether it was recovering/pressuring when the puck was dumped into Ottawa's zone, applying significant back pressure on the puck carrier while he was back-checking, or hustling to turn a 3-on-2 into a 3-on-3, his tireless defensive effort was noticeable (it seemed) every single game. Again, not directly related to pure data, but according to Evolving Hockey, he went from having considerably below average defensive impacts in his first season to being above average: