The Ottawa Senators have announced a pair of very different transactions for two of their young players. Tim Stutzle has been placed in the COVID protocol, likely ruling him out for the team’s return to action on Thursday. Stutzle joins Anton Forsberg in the protocol and leaves just Brady Tkachuk and Artem Zub as the regular Senators that haven’t been in the protocol this season.
Still just 19, Stutzle has 15 points in 29 games this season and 44 in 82 career matches. That’s an impressive start for the 2020 third overall pick, but it still hasn’t resulted in much success for the team overall. Ottawa is just 9-18-2 on the season despite general manager Pierre Dorion suggesting in the offseason that the rebuild is over. The team hasn’t played since January 1 thanks to COVID concerns and attendance restrictions but will be back in action on Thursday against the Calgary Flames.
While Stutzle has an isolation period to look forward to, a future teammate is looking at a much more exciting prize. The Senators have loaned Philippe Daoust to the Saint John Seadogs of the QMJHL where he will chase a Memorial Cup after starting the year with the Belleville Senators. The 20-year-old forward has five points in 15 games with Belleville this season, but after the Sea Dogs acquired his rights a few days ago it was clear that he would be heading back to junior hockey to finish the year.
Daoust, selected 158th overall in 2020, was outstanding for the Moncton Wildcats in the shortened 2020-21 season, scoring 28 points in 21 games. The Sea Dogs acquired him as part of a ten-piece trade last week as they load up for a championship run. The 2022 Memorial Cup is set to be held in Saint John, meaning the host club will get an automatic entry.
Not yet signed to his entry-level contract, Daoust was playing for Belleville on an AHL deal and will still be in line for a three-year NHL deal whenever he does sign with Ottawa.