The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t get a king’s ransom for franchise icon Claude Giroux on Saturday, but they did receive a right winger who scouts say has a chance to be a high-scoring power forward down the road.
Meet right winger Owen Tippett, the newest Flyer.
Tippett , 23, was acquired in the long-anticipated Giroux trade. The Flyers sent Giroux, underachieving prospects German Rubtsov and Connor Bunnaman, along with a fifth-round pick in 2024, to Florida for Tippett, a No. 1 draft pick in 2024, and a third-rounder in 2023.
“I’m really excited for this new opportunity to join a team, build with them and get a fresh start,” Tippett said before playing solidly in the Flyers’ 2-1 win Sunday over the Islanders. “I’m still working on trying to round out my 200-foot game, but overall I think I can bring offense, size, and speed to the lineup. I’m really excited to get going and meet everyone.”
Tippett, a 6-foot-1, 207-pound power forward, has lots of potential.
“He has a chance to be a very big goal scorer,” said one scout.
The scout also had a word of caution.
‘Goes into lulls’
“But he goes into lulls,” he said. “He can be a very good player when he wants to be. Love his shot.”
Tippett went 15 straight games without a goal for the Panthers this season.
“His whole career, his whole life, he’s been scoring,” Florida coach Andrew Brunette said last month. ”His shots are just not going in right now, and I think for him, it’s just about confidence. When you’re a scorer and you miss chances, you’re always going to get down.”
Russ Cohen, prospects expert for for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio and sportsology.com, said Tippett was an average skater and has a great shot. “But he doesn’t get the space (in the NHL) that he had at the junior level to get that shot off.”
Tippett was drafted in the first round (10th overall) by Florida in 2017. That was the draft in which the Flyers took Nolan Patrick No. 2 overall.
Last season, Tippett spent a lot of time on the second line. He was with Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Bennett late in the season and in the playoffs. He had a modest 18 points (7-11) in 42 regular-season games, then added four points in six post-season games.
He appeared to be on the verge of breaking out.
But he regressed a bit this season (14 points in 42 games) and was sent to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, where he flourished (18 points in 12 games).
Now he will get a chance to show if he can continue to grow in the NHL, with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Mike Yeo, the Flyers’ interim coach, liked what he saw from Tippett when he was with the Panthers. He said the winger has a “weight to his game, and is strong on the pick.” He also likes his blazing shot.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) March 20, 2022
In Sunday’s 2 p.m. game against the Islanders, Tippett was on a line with Oskar Lindblom and center Morgan Frost.
Tippett was dominant in the Ontario Hockey League, scoring 36 goals in in 51 games in 2017-18, and 33 goals in 54 games the next season. He was an AHL All-Star for Springfield in 2019-20, collecting 40 points (19-21) in 46 games. According to George Richards of Florida Hockey Now, Tippett likely would have been recalled by the Panthers that year, but a wrist injury ended his season.
The next year, he was with the Panthers.
There would be one more trip back to the AHL. Now the Flyers hope he is in the NHL for good.
“He is a young forward who already has NHL experience and will bring power, speed, and skill to our group,” Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said. “He is someone we expect to fit into our lineup immediately.”