Ottawa Senators Farm Report — Andrew Sturtz
Back on March 28th, the Senators announced that they had inked college free agent forward Andrew Sturtz to a two-year entry-level contract beginning in 2018-19 and while Sens fans get to know their newest prospect, he’s looking forward to returning to Ottawa for the next chapter in his hockey career.
Sturtz, a standout at Penn State who led them in scoring this past season with 40 points (14G, 26A) in 37 games, played two years of Jr. A hockey with the Canadians in nearby Carleton Place and thoroughly enjoyed his time in the region.
“I have so many good memories playing in Carleton Place,” said Sturtz. “We went to the RBC Cup championship twice and obviously we didn’t come out on the right end of the final game either time but it was two great years and a lot of great memories.”
Some of those memories took place just down highway 7 at Canadian Tire Centre where Sturtz and some of his teammates were lucky enough to be regulars at Sens games during his time in Carleton Place.
“A billet family of the Canadians had season tickets to the Sens so I actually went to a lot of games with other guys on the team,” Sturtz recalled. “I can’t wait to one day toss on a Sens jersey and play on that ice.”
It was actually a bit of a whirlwind for Sturtz as he closed out his Junior year with the Nittany Lions and as teams began to express interest in signing him, Ottawa emerged as the front-runner pretty quickly.
“I wasn’t really aware that the Sens were in the mix until about the beginning of March this year,” Sturtz said. “They started contacting my advisor as the college season was winding down and with the interest that Ottawa showed, it was kind of a no-brainer for me to come here. It’s where I started my Jr. A hockey career and it’s where I want to play professionally.”
And that’s perhaps what put Ottawa’s offer over the top, Sturtz admitted that familiarity was something that he was looking for and having spent two years in the nation’s capital, he was definitely familiar with the Senators.
“It’s always nice to be familiar with things and Ottawa had that,” said Sturtz about choosing to sign with the Senators. “They’re also investing in me and my development. They have so many resources to help me bring my game to the next level so it was an easy choice in the end.”
After signing with Ottawa, Sturtz was sent to Belleville where he got his first taste of professional hockey. He appeared in 6 games for the Senators’ AHL affiliate and didn’t look out of place registering 3 points (1G, 2A) in his first pro stint.
“It’s two totally different leagues,” Sturtz said about the AHL. “Guys are a lot bigger and stronger but I think the speed of the game is about the same. From my standpoint, I just wanted to get my feet wet and learn what I need to learn so I can take that into my summer training and put together a good offseason and I can come back and help make an impact in Belleville.”
Next on the docket for Sturtz and many of the other Sens’ prospects is Development Camp which is set for the end of June. This marks Sturtz’ first with the Senators but he did take part in the Penguins’ Development Camp last summer, an experience that he feels helped him continue to grow as a player.
“I think attending Pittsburgh’s camp last season was really important for my development. I really learned what it takes to be a professional,” Sturtz said. “Coming into the Sens Development Camp, my goal is to be in the best shape possible and work as hard as I can to make a good first impression in Ottawa. I’m excited to meet all the other prospects too. I’m 23 years old so I’ll probably be one of the older prospects at camp but hopefully I can help out with some of the younger players even though I’m new to the organization.”