Owen Tippett has a good mix of size and speed, and a scoring ability that gets him ranked as highly as he is in all of the rankings for this draft. He has a strong ability to get to the net and make things happen. He may have the best shot in this draft. That skillset alone will get you noticed by most NHL scouting staffs. Don’t expect Tippett to fall too far in this draft as goal scorers are always at a premium.
Name: Owen Tippett
Date of birth: 2/16/99 (18 years old)
Birthplace: Peterborough, Ontario
Weight: 202 lbs
NHL comparable: Evander Kane
ISS Hockey: 4
McKeen’s Hockey: 6
Future Considerations: 6
NHL CSS: 7 (North America)
Reports on Tippett indicate he has an incredible shot and that’s hard to argue with in that he scored 44 goals and 75 points in 60 games with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads this season. The Steelheads are currently up against the powerhouse Eerie Otters in the OHL final; Tippett has 7 goals and 16 points through 18 games in the playoffs so far, showing his production does not dry up in the playoffs. His shot is deadly and might be NHL-ready now.
But his shot isn’t the only thing that makes him a lethal goal scorer, Tippett has an ability to get on the puck in the tough areas out front to get the proverbial dirty goal as well as find openings on the ice to get himself space for his shot.
Scouts also like his skating ability, as he moves well, especially for his size and can be an effective forechecker with his size and speed combination. He’s strong on his edges to make himself effective at protecting the puck and driving the lane. That ability on his edges also provides him with good agility allowing him to create openings for his shot in one on one situations.
So what’s not to like; he has a great shot, speed, and size. Well, reports are mixed on his playmaking ability. Some say he is adequate with his passing but it definitely sounds like he could use some work in that department and is generally more of a finisher than the setup man. That could be evidenced by his stat line with only 31 assists to his 44 goals. The more consistent knock on his game, as seems to be the case with almost any goal scorer, is his play when the opposition has the puck. Several reports question his intensity, effort, and ability to read plays defensively. I’m wary of putting too much stock in that as that part of the game can often be taught and grown at the pro level out of necessity and it’s usually an area of concern for most offensive-oriented junior players.
Here’s a clip of Tippett’s 2016-2017 Highlights. You’ll notice a common theme, he can zip shots from either dot or even from the top of the circle. The highlights also show his ability to drive to the net and find openings.
Credit: SEER VIDEO YouTube
The Red Wings could do worse things than landing a future power forward in Tippett. He has a shot that is ready to beat NHL goaltenders now and could improve still. The kicker on that shot is he is right handed, an area the Wings are woefully short in. I wouldn’t pick him alone for his handedness but it’s no secret the Wings lack a right handed threat up front and it could go a long way towards improving the powerplay.
Tippett has proven this season he’s a goal scorer with speed and size to match. I don’t like to make comparisons but Tippett could be much like a Mantha-lite, smaller than the towering Mantha but speedier. He could find himself a role in the top six fairly quickly. You could pair him with a setup specialist like Nielsen and he could be the trigger man. For a team with only one 20 goal scorer he seems like a good fit for this roster.
Listening to Holland speak, Tippett sounds like the type of player Holland is looking for. With their highest draft pick in over two decades you’d probably like to see the Wings grab a centre or top pairing defenceman; but if Tippett falls into their lap, a potential perennial 20-goal scorer would be a good pick at #9.