Flyers’ New Top-Line LW ‘Growing’ into Effective Player, Torts Says
For the Philadelphia Flyers, Owen Tippett was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Claude Giroux to Florida last March.
Tippett, 23, is beginning to show the promise the Flyers saw in his game when they made the deal, one in which they also netted first- and third-round picks in 2024 and 2023, respectively.
“He’s growing,” coach John Tortorella said after practice Wednesday in Voorhees. “He still has a lot of things to learn — I think the quickness of the league and everything that comes with that. But he’s given us some good minutes.”
Tippett missed five games because of an apparent concussion, suffered in the first period of the opening-night, 5-2 win over New Jersey.
Since returning, the 6-foot-1, 207-pound winger has five points (three goals, two assists) in six games.
“I think he has a chance to be a really good power forward in this league,” Tortorella said. “He’s got the big body. I think he’s still growing into it. We all know about his shot. I think he has a number of things to learn as far as what it is to be a pro each and every day in the National Hockey League. But if he goes down the right road and handles things the right way, he has a chance to be a really good player in this league.”
Torts says Owen Tippett still has “a lot to learn,” but the winger has impressed him. #Flyers pic.twitter.com/83lcBINBTR
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) November 9, 2022
In the last two games, Tippett has been on the Flyers’ top line, playing left wing on a unit with Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny. He had a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s 5-1 win over St. Louis, and says his linemates have been good for him.
The players on that line have combined for three goals and four assists over the last two games.
“It’s been great. Obviously they’re really great players,” said Tippett, whose team plays Thursday in Columbus. “Hayesy really slows the game down and can see the ice really well and protects the puck, and TK is fast and I think we just have to keep going.”
Tortorella said there’s more to being a quality NHL player than the production in games.
“I think becoming a really good pro is the stuff you learn off the ice — how you train in the gym, what time you get to the rink in the morning for your day’s work, how you eat,” Tortorella said. “There are so many different things … you need to learn. Tip’s been around. Two organizations. I think if he goes down the right path with all those little things before he gets on the ice, it’s going to make him a better player on it.”
Tippett is a natural right winger, but he has played some left wing in the past.
“Playing the left has its benefits,” said Tippett, a former first-round draft pick (10th overall in 2017) who had 18 goals and 40 points in 115 games with Florida. “You have your stick to the ice all the time, and I’m getting more comfortable there. Overall, I think it’s the same position (as right wing), it’s just getting your stick on the opposite side.”
As for Giroux, 34, he is now with Ottawa, and he is the Senators’ hottest player. The right winger has goals in four straight games, scoring five times in that span. He has 11 points (7-4) in 12 games, and leads the Senators in goals.
On Saturday, he will face the the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center at 1 p.m., and a tribute video will be played before the game.