Florida Panthers Top 25 Under 25: #11 Owen Tippett
Increased depth could push Florida’s 2017 first-rounder back to junior
Our Florida Panthers T25U25 countdown rolls on with the club’s top goal-scoring prospect.
#10: Owen Tippett
Position: Right wing
Team: Mississauga Steelheads
Drafted in 2017, 1st Round (10th Overall)
After being selected 10th overall at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in Chicago and signing his entry-level contract, winger OwenTippett started the season in Sunrise before rightly being returned to the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads. In seven games with the Cats, Tippett scored his first NHL goal on October 26, in an 8-3 rout over the Anaheim Ducks, and went -6 while averaging 11:07 time on ice.
Tippett posted 75 points (36G/39A) in 51 tilts with the Steelheads, matching his point total from the previous season in nine less games. In the OHL playoffs, Tippett scored 3 goals and added 2 helpers as Mississauga fell in the opening round in six games to the Barrie Colts. After his junior campaign ended, Tippett joined the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds and scored one goal and one assist in five games for Florida’s farm team.
Once the 2017-18 season closed, many started penciling Tippett into a spot on the Panthers 2018-19 roster, but after Florida traded for Mike Hoffman, handed Mark Letestu a PTO, and signed Troy Brouwer to a one-way day this week, the 19-year-old ginger, who is too young to play in the AHL this year, looks to be heading back to the junior ranks, unless of course, he tears it up during training camp and the preseason.
While Tippett’s got the talent, and sniping ability, to shoot his way onto the roster, chances are he will be returned to Mississauga where he can get in one final season in the OHL and possibly dominate the league. There is also the possibility of a spot on Canada’s Wolrd Junior Championship squad, which would be huge for his development.
There is no doubt Tippett will be a Panther soon, it’s just a matter of when as the club increased depth at forward seems like it could delay his arrival by a year. Certainly not a bad thing, as the Panthers are finally in the position to not have to rush their top prospects into the NHL.
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