Now that the Draft Lottery has happened and Colorado Avalanche fans got to experience one more gut-wrenching loss for the team, we at least know where the Avalanche will be selecting in the first round.
Continuing down our magical path of draft prospects, the next player we will put under the microscope is Owen Tippett.
For the previous prospect, Casey Mittelstadt, click here.
Owen Tippett currently plays with the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League.
He is 6’2″ and 203 lbs and is a right-shooting right wing. He is just finishing his second season with the Steelheads and comes into the NHL Draft as the seventh-ranked skater according to NHL Central Scouting.
Offense is the name of the game for Tippett. Offense is his bread and butter, his main course, and his dessert. All scouting reports talk about his excellent skating and, most of all, his lethal shot. Watching video, there is absolutely no denying that his shot is pretty outstanding. Unfortunately for Tippett, “inconsistent” is another word brought up, especially when referring to his defensive game. Even some talk about a less than stellar work ethic.
A strongly built, scoring winger who possesses that natural scorer’s touch…he gets to the right areas of the ice both with and without the puck and has the pro-type shot and release to bury it…he is strong and shifty with the puck, protecting it well as he moves through traffic…gets around the ice well, showing quick jump acceleration to generate space and speed coming down the ice on the rush, and he shows agility and balance on his feet…has a good head for the game and identifies developing plays quickly…has a feel for when he should attack the play, when he should support his teammates and when he needs to wait in quiet ice for them to find him…works hard…not overly belligerent, but does play a physical game, with a chip on his shoulder…not afraid to take a bump to generate a chance…top-six NHL goal-scorer down the line.
— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) March 5, 2017
Pure goal scoring speedster who is work in progress. He has size very good size, and girth, and besides the great speed, he can be a threat from anywhere inside the attack zone. Displays both a strong slapper and wrist shot. Will release the puck from what seems like low percentage angles and find the back of the net. Might have gained too much muscle and weight with the 18 pounds he added…it has reduced his pure foot speed a bit, but it does help in his puck possession battles. Needs to read the situations and hit the mark with his shots, not just let fly with reckless abandon. Terrific PP cannon, but he still needs to develop his on ice reads away from shoot, shoot and shoot and also survey his options. And develop some defensive commitment and work away from the puck.
Good size, speed and a deadly shot make him the purest sniper in the draft and a good bet to score plenty of goals in the pros. Already the second-best goal scorer in the OHL, if he learns to play more consistently, utilize teammates and polish his defensive game he’ll challenge for first-line NHL winger duties.
The most telling portion of scouting reports also comes from the Recrutes.ca site. This site speaks with current NHL Scouts as they observe the players, and there are some definite red flags about Tippett, such as:
I like his skill level a lot. Hes a natural goal scorer, which everybody covets. I think he’s a moody player, a moody kid when you meet him, he’s a guarded kid. I think his playmaking is underrated. He’s more than just a shooter in my opinion. I think he’s still growing up. When he wants to play he plays. Drives the coach bananas, but he can also win you a game. I think if he wakes up and decides to be a consistent player he has a chance to be really good. the playoffs will be important…we’ll see if he gives a consistent effort.
He’s either really good or you don’t notice him. That’s how guys like him play. they don’t have a fallback if they’re not scoring. If it’s 2-1 or 3-2 be out there defending..it’s great to score..but don’t get scored on…play a harder game defensively. But those guys don’t do that. He’s not going before 7..,I don’t imagine. You like what he can do, but you don’t like those scoring mentality guys who don’t want to do anything else. It was nice to see him make a couple of plays but we all know what type of player he is..you just have to look at his stats..he’s a shoot-first guy. There some good options around that area too..so if he falls out of the top ten it wouldn’t shock me. I do appreciate him, but I don’t like one-trick ponies.
Should the Avalanche Draft Him?
This is tough, because the Avalanche need to have that pure sniper that can score from anywhere. The guy who always thinks shot first no matter the situation and who will always make the goalie make a save. The questions with Tippett, however, are his defensive game and his attitude. Tippett may be an offensive dynamo, but the scouts talking about him being the type of player who doesn’t always decide to bring his top game is troublesome. The Avalanche have been filled with players who “take games off” for the last several seasons and I would be surprised if the Avalanche want to take on another player like that.
Looking around, it’s hard to find a player with a better combination of offensive skills, but knowing that the Avalanche like to target players who play all 200 feet and bring a consistent effort, I would be surprised if Owen Tippett was the selection for the Colorado Avalanche.