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Owen Tippett Making Giroux Deal Look Like Big Win for Flyers

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Owen Tippett (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Flyers right winger Owen Tippett is congratulated after one of his 13 goals this season. Photo: AP.

Right winger Owen Tippett’s name was being bandied about before the Philadelphia Flyers traded Claude Giroux to Florida last March.

At the time, an NHL front-office executive told me that if Tippett was the main piece the Flyers would receive in the trade, they were getting ripped off.

As it turns out, the executive was wrong.

The Flyers got Tippett, a first-round pick in 2024, and a third-rounder in 2023 from Florida in exchange for Giroux, a fifth-round pick in 2025, and two minor-leaguers.

Giroux excelled for two months in Florida, then signed as a free agent with Ottawa after the season.

Exceeding expectations

Tippett, 23, has exceeded expectations in Philadelphia, and the big right winger looks like a big part of the Flyers’ future.

He has already set career highs in goals (13 in 37 games) and points (23) this season, and there are still 40 games remaining. When you consider Florida (19-19-4), which had the most points in the NHL last year, has dropped considerably and may not be that good next year, the No. 1 pick the Flyers get in 2024 could also turn out to be a high-quality player.

In other words, despite not having any leverage because Florida was the only place Giroux agreed to get traded to, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher did quite well in the deal.

On Wednesday, Tippett had a goal and an assist — and drew three tripping penalties — in the Flyers’ 5-3 win over Washington.

Thriving on a line with Morgan Frost and James van Riemsdyk, Tippett has seven points (3-4) in his last seven games, and is supplying physicality and scoring. First-year Flyers coach John Tortorella, who is not easy to please, has become a big fan.

Rave reviews

“You can see he’s just about to bust out — and not just the offensive part,” Tortorella said after the impressive win over the Capitals. “He’s been a more consistent power forward. Winning puck battles, carrying the puck on the boards, getting pucks in when he needs to, chasing them down.”

Tortorella said Tippettt, drafted in the first round (No. 10 overall) by Florida in 2017, is doing “all the little things you do as a strength of a power forward.”

Tippett gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 3-1 lead Wednesday by scoring off the rush from the top of the right circle, maneuvering around a defender to get off a laser of a wrist shot.

“He makes a great play on the goal,” Tortorella said. “He changes the angle so he can get the shot through the (defenseman’s) legs. That’s a tough play for a goalie to have a shot from that angle and with how quickly he got it off.”

Tortorella had more praise.

“The goal scoring is going to be there,” he said. “The other parts of the game are what I like. I always felt like Tip identifies himself as a power guy, not just a shooter. I think most of the attributes of his game are power.”

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Tippett says he tries to use his size “all over the ice, whether I have the puck or not — using my feet, taking pucks, and being strong all over the ice.”

Strong. That’s a good word to use when describing the trade that brought Tippett to Philadelphia.

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