2022-23 Flyers Player Profile: Owen Tippett

Apr 13, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Owen Tippett (74) against the New York Rangers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Owen Tippett (74) against the New York Rangers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Owen Tippett was the 10th overall pick in the the 2017 draft. The same draft that netted the Flyers Nolan Patrick. He put up exceptional numbers in the GTHL junior league for the Toronto Red Wings and in the OHL for the Mississauga Steelheads. At the AHL level he was serviceable, but not spectacular.

As the only player to come to Philly for Claude Giroux, he has been less than stellar. But so far, Owen Tippett has the confidence of the Flyers’ management. Where the 23 year old takes it from here is up to him and new coach John Tortorella.

Tippett played in 21 games for the Flyers in 2022; half as many as he did with the Florida Panthers. He scored six goals and registered eight assists in 42 games in Florida. In half of the games, he racked up four goals and three assists.

It’s hard to judge him on what he did here as the team was in a state of transition. Players were shut down due to injury. The team had known that they were nowhere near the playoffs and had little to play for. There were lots of call ups at the tail end of the season as a way to evaluate the team’s prospects playing for Lehigh Valley.

Tippett had a reputation in juniors as a long range sniper. Every scouting report on him before the draft predicted he would become an elite goal scorer. Those skills have yet to be seen at the NHL level. However, in Florida he languished on the third and fourth lines. Perhaps being placed on a top line could help with his development. After all, it did wonders for Oskar Lindblom and Joel Farabee when they were on one of the top lines.

Tortorella, however, may accelerate or hinder his development. Torts is well known to be a “system first” kind of guy. Will Tippett fit into that system? Torts is also known for becoming very impatient with young talent that is not developing at the rate he wants. Perhaps it is possible that Tortorella has “matured” in his coaching style and may go easy on some of the young guys. Maybe not.

It is possible that Tippett could thrive on one of the top two lines. With the level of talent the Flyers supposedly have, the team could have three dynamic lines that can all score; much like the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning seem to have. That much depth would be wonderful to have. But if Tortorella doesn’t have the time to help the younger players improve, Tippett could be one of the players that suffer the most.

He is only 23 and can have a long career ahead of him. In his first 116 games, Patrick Sharp had scored only 19 goals and was 24; with nine of those goals coming after being traded to Chicago. Tippett, in comparison has scored 14 goals in 115 games played with the same amount of assists (19).  Now, I’m not saying that Tippett will become Sharp, but you never now. With the right linemates, coaches, and system, Sharp thrived. Tippett could too.

So far, I haven’t been very impressed with Tippett. But to be honest, maybe my expectations are high because he was traded for Giroux. Likewise, the Flyers tried to pry other prospects and young players from Florida, but they only let him go. Was there a reason? Is there something they know and we don’t or did they think he really was a fair price for Giroux?

Tippett is an RFA right now, and as such, he is fairly controllable. Again, this helps the cash strapped Flyers immensely. But because of his connection to Giroux, the two are linked forever; whether that is fair or not. It’s like the guy who replaced Cal Ripken, Kobe Bryant, or Dan Marino in the lineup. You got big shoes to fill buddy.

I think Tippett will have a career year, but when you consider that so far that means scoring more than 10 goals and 11 assists in a season, that’s setting the bar kind of low. If he doesn’t cut it this year, I’m not sure he’s going to be a major factor in the team’s long term plans.