He’s a potential star player down the road in the NHL and he will go somewhere in the top 10 for sure, probably higher, but right now how the draft is going to be presented is up in the air and he’s prepared for that.
“It would be much nicer with fans in the arena, but you can’t really change it right now. I think for now it’s very important that everybody stays home. It would be more fun in front of the fans, but it will also be great at home and do it online. I don’t really see a problem with that,” Stützle stated. “My goal is to be drafted as high as possible. It was that before the season. For sure I’d love to be drafted in the Top 3 but I can’t really change anything right now.”
Even if there isn’t some sort of combine, he’s been preparing regardless.
“At the end of the season I spoke to the Manheim GM and he said just keep working. I’m living right now with my parents. I have access to a coach that can 1-on-1 workouts with me at a fitness center,” he said.
Food hasn’t been an issue there and if he moved to North America, he wouldn’t change his habits and won’t search out German food.
“I eat a lot. I don’t care about the types of food. Just to eat healthy. As long as it doesn’t look too bad,” he laughed.
Like most players, he has a favorite player, and his choices shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.
“I watch a lot of Connor McDavid. He’s my favorite player. It’s great to see how he skates and moves the puck. I always like Leon Draisaitl too,” he noted.
Whenever he moves to North America, he hopes his parents could come and attend games, “They’ve been to every game, every practice.”
Getting drafted isn’t his only goal, he’s looking way beyond that.
“When you get drafted, you’re not playing in the NHL yet. You reached a goal. My goal is to play a long time in the NHL and win,” Stützle said with confidence.
He currently doesn’t have a nickname, but he does hear the Draisaitl comparison.
“I’m my own person. Some may say I’m the next Draisaitl, but I don’t want to be him or someone else. I just want to be myself.”
Two things that set him apart are his vision and the way he can lull a defender into thinking he has him contained and then he’s able to find another gear to get past them.
“The playmaking is one of my abilities for sure. I always look to find openings for my linemates and my teammates,” said Stützle” “I worked on turning around a lot last season with my coach. Move your feet and beat defenders. I think I improved it a lot. I also think it’s one of my best abilities.”
Former Sharks draft pick. Marcel Goc, now 36, plays on Manheim and has been mentoring the draft hopeful.
“Everybody helped me during the season. They want to make me better. Every practice, every game. Not just linemates. Marcel Goc has unreal energy. I had the honor to sit next to him. I learned not just to be a good person on the ice but off the ice too,” Stützle revealed.
Goc once told me he likes to fight but he seems to have given that up.
“He’s a hard worker, in the gym too. Maybe just mentally fighting. We talk about and he tries to help me out. He said don’t just focus on being there for one season. Focus on being there for 10 years or longer.”
Stützle is waiting this out at home like all hockey fans are. When the draft happens, whenever that is, he’s going to be ready to celebrate and accept that next challenge in his career.
If you missed Part 1, here you go:
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