Ottawa now has top pick from October’s NHL Entry Draft under contract as the team announced that they’ve signed forward Tim Stuetzle to a three-year, entry-level contract. CapFriendly reports that the deal carries a maximum base salary of $925K (including a 10% signing bonus) as well as $2.5MM per year in performance incentives. GM Pierre Dorion released the following statement about the deal:
Tim possesses an exceptional blend of both speed and skill and a playmaking ability that our fans are going to enjoy watching for several years to come. He’s a dynamic forward who we expect to become a key piece of our roster as we continue trending towards icing an eventual elite-level team.
The 18-year-old was the third-overall selection following a strong season with Mannheim of the DEL that saw him collect seven goals and 27 assists in just 41 games, impressive production for a teenager in a men’s league where he was the youngest player. The plan was for him to play there to start this season as well but a hand injury that required surgery put an end to those plans. Stuetzle also had a good showing at the World Juniors with five helpers in as many contests and currently finds himself there again as the 2021 event is now underway.
Once that tournament comes to an end, Stuetzle will report to training camp with Ottawa and should make a push to crack their lineup right away. Even with a slew of additions up front (including Derek Stepan, Evgenii Dadonov, Alex Galchenyuk, and Austin Watson), Stuetzle could force his way into the lineup fairly quickly and will be competing with the likes of Drake Batherson and Joshua Norris to earn one of the spots that is likely going to be earmarked for a young player. He’ll be eligible to play in six games before burning the first year of his entry-level deal (it’s usually nine but that has been prorated for the shortened season). The Sens believe that he can be a centerpiece of their rebuild and if he’s able to step in and play right away, he should become a core player for them in the not too distant future.