Florida Panthers: Owen Tippett and Aleksi Heponiemi Named to Selection Camp

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 30: Owen Tippett
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 30: Owen Tippett /

Yesterday, two Florida Panthers forward prospects were named to their respective World Juniors selection camp rosters.

Former 10th overall pick from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Owen Tippett, has been selected to participate at the Canadian World Juniors team selection camp.

The 19-year-old winger has had a solid campaign with the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL thus far. Through 22 games played, Tippett has recorded 19G, 14A, good for 33 points altogether.

For Tippett, this selection to the camp roster presents itself as the best opportunity to further make the team. Additionally, the Ontario native has never represented his country at the World Junior Tournament, which could all change this year.

Now with an extra year of experience and further development, Tippett cannot only make the Canadian side, but he could feature in a prominent role that could help guide his nation to glory once again.

There’s no reason why Tippett can’t make this roster out of selection camp. Now that he’s a year older, Team Canada view him as one of their experienced players, despite actually participating in tournament play before.

The second Panthers prospect that was asked to participate in selection camp was Finnish forward Aleksi Heponiemi.

Heponiemi, 19 years of age, is currently playing in his native country of Finland for Karpat of SM-Liiga and was previously drafted by the Panthers in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Previously, he competed in the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos, but after tearing it up in two consecutive campaigns, it was time for Heponiemi to step out of his comfort zone and begin playing with older men.

His transition into the Finnish league has been naturally smooth, as Hepo has shown little signs of struggle within his game. In just 25 games played, the former Bronco has tallied 6G, 16A, and 22 points.

His 22 points rank ninth in the league, while his 16 assists are good for a two-way tie for third. Unlike Tippett, however, Aleksi has competed in the World Juniors before, placing 6th with Finland in last year’s competition.

Looking to score better in this year’s games, Heponiemi will help guide his nation to a better finish this time around. He will also look to have a better campaign individually, as he only tallied a mere 2 assists in the last tournament.

Next. Analyzing the Cats Through the Fourth Week of November. dark

It’s always great when your hockey team has prospects showcasing their nation at the best junior tournament. Tippett and Heponiemi are just two household names representing the Panthers at this year’s games. Don’t be surprised if Grigori Denisenko grabs a spot on Team Russia, either.