When Tim Stützle isn’t on the ice for the Ottawa Senators, he watches the other Germans in the National Hockey League (NHL). “There is a bit of competition among all of us, everyone wants to be the best,” says the national ice hockey player. At 21, the striker is currently at the top of one statistic: no other countryman reached 200 scorer points (goals and assists) as quickly as Stützle – not even Leon Draisaitl.
Record “doesn’t mean that much” to him
The former professional from the top German club Adler Mannheim needed 229 games, 31 fewer than the Edmonton Oilers superstar. That “actually doesn’t mean that much” to him, says Stützle, “but of course it’s a cool thing.”
Draisaitl, 28, also drafted number three six years before him, has now broken the 100-point mark in a season four times, scored 50 or more goals three times, was once the best scorer in the entire league, most valuable player and in Germany Athlete of the Year – but in his fourth NHL season not yet as good as Stützle is now.
Employers appreciate Stützle
And: The Viersen native doesn’t have the best ice hockey player in the world, Connor McDavid, next to him. From a young age, Stützle is the Senators’ star himself, the most successful attacker – and a “leader”, as he himself says: “I try to lead the way on the ice. We have many who show up and lead in the dressing room, and I’m definitely one of them.”
His salary shows that his employer sees it the same way: the eight-year contract worth $66.8 million started this season. Draisaitl will receive 68 million in Edmonton over the same term. Stützle’s annual salary of five million is still behind Draisaitl’s eight, and in two years he will receive nine.
It is quite realistic that he will be among the elite circle of 100-point scorers by then; he is already on track this season – and is the attacker with the second most ice time in the entire NHL.
What is missing – similar to Draisaitl – is the success of the team. Stützle hasn’t played a single play-off game yet, and this season they’re finally aiming to make it to the knockout rounds, but the start was mixed at best. “We try to get better every year,” says Stützle. “I firmly believe that we have a very strong team and can still achieve a lot.”
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The pressure in Canada is greater than anywhere else. “When you play in Florida, it’s a little more relaxed,” says Stützle, but it’s different in Ottawa: “If you win, everything is great. If you lose, things can go downhill quickly.” So far, things have gone uphill extremely quickly for him.