NHL.com’s Q&A feature called “Sitting Down With …” runs each Sunday. We talk to key figures in the game, gaining insight into their lives on and off the ice.
This edition features Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle:
Tim Stutzle has taken the hockey world by storm since joining the Ottawa Senators as a rookie for the 2020-21 NHL season. The 19-year-old forward scored 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) to finish fifth in scoring among first-year players.
Stutzle has two assists in five games this season and is part of a young core that gives Senators fans hope for the future. He scored a combined 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 10 games for Germany at the 2020 and 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship and is a candidate to play at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
NHL.com caught up with Stutzle last month to ask him about his career to date, his future, teammates and nickname among other things.
Who would you start a new team with: Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews or Nathan MacKinnon?
That’s really tough. McDavid has an unreal season every time. I think he’s going to win [the Stanley Cup] for sure. But I would take all three of them. Matthews is a pure goal-scorer, and I would love to play with him, for sure. I’ve heard a lot of things about MacKinnon. What a great two-way player he is. I’ve never played against him.
Will Alex Ovechkin break Wayne Gretzky’s NHL goal-scoring record?
I haven’t played against him either so it’s hard to say. But I think he could. He’s a proven goal-scorer and he can score from anywhere.
A celebrity/NHL player who’d make a good Halloween costume?
I would say (Senators teammate) Thomas Chabot. His long hair. If you put something scary on your face it could kind of be pretty good.
Worst Christmas gift you’ve ever gotten?
For Christmas on the [Germany] national team [at World Juniors] everyone was picking like stupid stuff. I think I got a used pair of shoes.
Tell us your hidden talent?
I would say soccer. I’m a pretty good soccer player.
Other than the season opener, the first game you circled on the schedule this year?
The games against Edmonton and (Leon Draisaitl) too. It’s always fun to play against the German guys so I’m looking forward to that too.
Who’s someone in hockey you were nervous to meet for the first time?
That’s tough to say. You are always meeting new people, different players around the world. I would say playing against McDavid was pretty special. Seeing what he can do with the puck, and skating-wise, it was awesome to see.
Best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Just have fun with everything you do. I think that’s the most important work part. And be thankful for everything you get.
Last show or movie you recommended to someone?
I love “Prison Break.” Prison Break for me is the best.
Are you officially Jimmy or Timmy?
I would say I’m officially Timmy. In Germany for sure. But in Canada they call me Jimmy. When I came back (to the Senators) from the World Juniors there was a lot of hype. Everyone was talking about it on TSN and stuff too. So (Senators forward) Brady Tkachuk said, ‘Let’s call him Jimmy and not Timmy so he gets confused a bit.’ I didn’t realize it at the beginning but in the end it’s kind of funny and now everyone is calling me like that.
What advice would you give an NHL rookie?
Just have fun with everything you do, appreciate everything you get. I’m still like a little kid, just exploring everything and excited to see everything. I think that’s really important. Be thankful for everything your parents do, your friends and just enjoy the moment.
Who is the funnier Tkachuk, Brady or Matthew Tkachuk?
That’s tough. Both are pretty funny. I would say we connect pretty good. I would say Brady because I live with him, but Matthew is also a pretty funny guy.
Who has better hands, you or Draisaitl?
I’m still pretty young. I can work on a lot of things. He won the (2020 Hart Trophy voted as NHL MVP) so it doesn’t matter if he has better hands than me or not. He’s putting up 100 points every year and I think every young kid is looking up to him from Germany. So I would go with him.
What did you do with the hats that fans threw into your backyard for your first hat trick?
I couldn’t really touch them because of COVID so I really didn’t do anything with them. But I really appreciated the love the kids were giving to my family and me a lot. It was a great feeling and something I’ll never forget. The kids came back in and picked them up again. I couldn’t do anything for them because of COVID. Otherwise, I would have signed them or do something else great for them. It was one of the most beautiful moments I have right now in Canada.
What would it mean to represent Germany at the Olympics?
For me it’s always a big honor to represent Germany. I love playing for my country. I love being back with the boys, my friends. We’re a great team and it would be an unreal experience for me to play in my first Olympics.
Senators will make the playoffs if…?
Our young guys step up one more time and our entire team works together and works hard. We’ve got to do a lot of things right. We have a young team and the guys who played well last year, we have to step up and play even better. All of our top guys and skilled players, we’ve got to step up. That’s what we want to do.