Florida Panthers: Owen Tippett Could Surprise Fans in the Near Future

MISSISSAUGA, ON - JANUARY 19: Owen Tippett /

Following a successful season in the OHL, the Florida Panthers will certainly depend upon dazzling youngster Owen Tippett in the upcoming 2018-19 campaign.

Owen Tippett, a 19-year-old Canadian winger, was originally selected with the 10th overall selection in the 2017 NHL draft, despite projections of teams selecting the natural scorer earlier. Luckily for Florida, Tippett fell into their waiting arms, and GM Dale Tallon quickly snagged Owen, in result.

Before announcing he’d officially declare for the NHL draft, Owen Tippett experienced a phenomenal season in Juniors, registering an astounding slashline of 44G, 31A, and 75 points, participating in 60 contests. When taking into account the playoffs, Owen produced 10G, 9A, and 19 points, playing in 20 playoff affairs.

Owen Tippett’s draft stock skyrocketed, as a plethora of NHL scouts and GMs widely viewed Tippett as the draft’s best overall scorer. Owen impressed Panthers’ management and coaching staff in their training camp, resulting in Tippett rightfully earning a spot on the team’s opening night lineup (made the Panthers as an 18-year-old!).

The gifted sniper participated in 7 NHL games, recording solely 1G and a +/- of -6, indicating Owen evidently required further preparation. The Cats ultimately sent Owen back to juniors (Mississauga), where he’d conclude the 2017-18 season.

Essentially, the Panthers didn’t waste a year of Owen’s three-year, entry-level contract, considering Florida optioned Tippett before playing 10 NHL games with the Cats. Tippett didn’t receive ample playing time, often garnering 4th line minutes, alongside untalented linemates.

Although, Tippett recorded a memorable 1st NHL goal against the Anaheim Ducks in a commanding victory on home-ice. As fans, we can’t necessarily judge Tippett’s 7 NHL games as a mere 18-year-old rookie. Owen conveyed signs of promise; however, an additional year of growth/development in Juniors and the AHL ultimately benefited Tippett tremendously.

In the 2017-18 season for the Steelheads, Owen Tippett produced at an unprecedented rate, registering a sensational line of 36G, 39A, and 75 points, while participating in 51 games. Owen Tippett matched a career high in point totals, but played 9 fewer games compared to the 2016-17 campaign.

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Tippett displayed flashes of brilliance through his time in Juniors, establishing himself as a complete player, by rounding out his game as a whole and working tremendously on the defensive side of the game. Moreover, Tippett’s squad was eliminated from the playoffs following their first round defeat, in which Owen recorded 3G, 2A, and 5 points, participating in 6 playoff contests (likely his last season as a Steelhead).

Furthermore, upon becoming officially and shockingly eliminated from the OHL playoffs, Owen Tippett agreed on an AHL contract with the Panthers’ AHL affiliate Springfield Thunderbirds, playing for the remainder of the 2017-18 pro-hockey season.

Essentially, Tippett furthered his maturation and development process by competing against players of older age. In 5 AHL games, Owen Tippett recorded a decent tally of 1G, 1A, and 2 points, adjusting and adapting to a completely different environment, linemates, coaching staff, and even playing style.

The Canadian-born sniper will unquestionably crack a spot on the Panthers’ opening night lineup in the 2018-19 season, along with the likes of Henrik Borgstrom. In all likelihood though, Tippett could potentially play on Florida’s dominant 2nd line, alongside offensively dynamic playmaker and scorer: Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck.

Tippett’s electric-like shot suits the playing style of Huberdeau especially, as a pass-first player like Jonathan Huberdeau can easily set up Tippett in the slot, all night long. Inserting a lethal sniper such as Owen Tippett onto the 2nd line could elevate the play of all forwards alike, and would bring that extra scoring touch to the table.

As a 19-year-old (currently), experiencing year-by-year improvements, Tippett could certainly surprise some folks in the following anticipated campaign. Florida will undeniably enable their youngsters glorious opportunities of playing higher-end minutes, in efforts of obtaining a playoff berth with their younger players leading the charge. Theoretically speaking, if Tippett’s fully healthy and adapts smoothly with the NHL’s style of play, he’ll easily register 20 goals in year #1.

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In viewing the situation of observing or closely monitoring Tippett from a Florida Panthers fan’s perspective or view-point, I would certainly anticipate/expect a successful rookie season from Owen, without question. Personally speaking, I would highly recommend Florida fans begin purchasing Tippett’s jersey as soon as they can, as he’ll likely remain a Panther for an extended period of time. A promising future awaits for Tip!