The Florida Panthers signed 2017 first-round pick Owen Tippett to a three-year contract on Wednesday.
The deal with Tippett is a standard entry-level contract and the 18-year old will be given an opportunity to make the squad for the regular season. Tippett is a long shot to start the year with Florida, but could see time in Sunrise at some point next season.
"I'm thrilled to sign Owen to his first NHL contract," said Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon. "Owen is a natural goal scorer with a bright future and he already possesses NHL-ready size and speed. We're looking forward to watching him compete for a spot on our NHL roster at training camp this fall."
Tippett is an exciting player that could transform Florida's play on the ice. In 2016-17, the Panthers had some sluggish times and a disappointing season overall. As the team looks for a new identity and strategy, the Panthers have put an emphasis on getting faster. That new methodology ended Jaromir Jagr's time with the team, but it could lead to opportunities for a player such as Tippett.
While playing for the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League, Tippett accumulated 44 goals and 75 points in just 60 games. Tippett has game-changing ability and Florida used an important tenth overall pick to grab him for that reason. Playing alongside rising stars in the NHL should give Tippett a chance to shine early in his career.
Florida's training camp will take place in September and the preseason schedule will get underway on October 6th.