Stuetzle: Training camp debut with Senators was 'an unbelievable day'
Ottawa Senators rookie Tim Stuetzle reflected on his first taste of the NHL after making his training camp debut Sunday.
"An unbelievable day," Stuetzle said, according to TSN's Brent Wallace.
"To be on the ice with NHL guys … for me it's just very excited for sure," he added. "I was nervous at the beginning, but like I said before, the boys did all the best to get the nerves away from me, so I felt good, and I felt very comfortable on the ice with them."
Stuetzle, 18, enters camp fresh off a strong showing for Germany at the world juniors in Edmonton. He mustered five goals and 10 points through five games and helped the nation reach the quarterfinals for the first time at the tournament.
The 6-foot-1 pivot was selected third overall by the Senators at the 2020 draft in October and will play a key role in the club's rebuild. Stuetzle understands the pressure of being a lottery pick and is hungry to live up to expectations.
"I mean, it's great for me, obviously, but first I need to prove (myself) here on that level," he said, per Wallace. "And that's my goal. I hope I'm going to have a good training camp and play a good season."
Ottawa isn't expected to be a playoff contender in 2020-21, but adding Stuetzle, along with offseason pickups Evgenii Dadonov, Braydon Coburn, Matt Murray, and several others, gives the club a more competitive lineup.
Stuetzle is slated to make his NHL debut Friday at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs.