Coming into a new team is always going to be tough for a player, but for Owen Tippett it looked like a fresh start in his young career.
Tippett made his Flyers debut on Sunday afternoon as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 at the Wells Fargo Center. The 23-year-old was acquired by the Flyers on Saturday as part of the Claude Giroux deal to Florida, and he showed promising moments in the victory for Mike Yeo’s squad.
A former No. 10 overall draft pick by the Panthers in 2017, Tippett found it tough to earn regular minutes with the Panthers this season, especially with the growing number of goalscorers on the roster. Now with a new opportunity in front of him, Tippett is already impressing his new coach and teammates after only one appearance for the Orange and Black.
“He looks like a hockey player to me,” Yeo said about Tippett’s team debut. “Loved parts of his game, obviously a heavy shot, scoring chances in the second period. Got off his stick in a hurry. I liked him shooting off the flank on the power play to set up Hayes’ power play goal. Liked his wall play in a lot of areas and like I said in the coaches room there, for a guy who when I talked to him this morning said he was working on his 200-foot game, which means he’s trying to improve defensively, I didn’t have anything to point out or say to him today. So obviously a great start for him.”
Tippett logged 14:38 in ice time on Sunday afternoon, registering two shots and bringing a new presence to the Flyers lineup. He was not credited with an assist, but Tippett’s shot on the power play in the second period eventually led to Kevin Hayes’ burying his second goal of the game.
The Flyers remain well out of a playoff spot this season, but for players like Tippett and others, the next few weeks will provide a great chance to improve their stock for 2022-23. Tippett arrived in Philadelphia late on Saturday night and didn’t have to wait long to get back on the ice, a positive sign for the gritty forward.
“I think so, obviously when you jump right into things it kind of takes your mind off things and just getting ready to play another hockey game, although it’s a different team but no, I think like you said having to practice might make me think a little bit more about playing, but no jumping right into it was great,” Tippett said about jumping right into the lineup.”
“Certainly the adrenaline kicked in for him,” Yeo said about having Tippett ready to go right after the trade. “You could tell when I talked to him this morning he was very excited about this opportunity. Coming here, knowing the opportunity he’s going to get with the ice time, the potential that he has to play special teams. Obviously he came from an organization that has a lot of high-skilled players. So, tough for a younger player to crack into that, whether it’s playing in a skilled line or whether it’s playing in a power play and things like that. So I know he was very excited about that. It was great to get him in right off the hop.”
Tippett is a promising talent and will only get more opportunities as the Flyers push forward through this regular season. The Canada native has scored 14 goals and added 19 assists in 94 regular-season NHL appearances to date, showing his offensive abilities over the past two-and-a-half seasons with the Panthers.
Although there is a new change in scenery for Tippett, the goal of improving his overall game and becoming a consistent two-way NHL player will remain the same going forward.
“Yeah, I mean I actually knew Tippett before,” Frost said about his relationship with Tippett. “We played together on Team Canada in the juniors not on the same line but together so it was nice. I’ve always enjoyed watching him play. It’s nice to be on the same team and same line as him. I thought we did some good things.”
The Flyers hit the road for the next five games, beginning with Tuesday’s showdown with the Detroit Red Wings in Michigan.