The Colorado Avalanche might take a chance on a prospect who still needs to develop aspects of his game, Owen Tippett, because he brings a good skill set.
The Colorado Avalanche hope to get the first-overall draft selection in the 2017 NHL Lottery. However, the team is guaranteed a top-four pick regardless.
The 2017 NHL Draft takes place in Chicago June 23-24. This year’s prospect pool isn’t considered to be as deep as previous years. However, Colorado will get a very good player with their top-four pick.
Colorado may also trade down a little to turn one pick into two or three, or to acquire a prospect. I doubt they’d drop lower than #10, though.
One player who’s scouted to go top-10 is right wing Owen Tippett.
: Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
Date of Birth
: February 16, 1999 (18 years old)
: 203 lbs
: Right Wing
Right wing Owen Tippet has a good shot. No, he has a great shot. Several scouting reports have stated he has the best shot of all the 2017 draft prospects.
According to Peter Harling of Dobber Prospects, what makes Tippett’s shot so great is that it’s quick, hard and accurate. What’s more, the right wing is able to hide it well. It’s no surprise he likes to shoot a lot.
Harling also notes that Tippett is a great skater with high breakaway speed and acceleration. Harling adds, “he uses all his skill to support his goal scoring tendency.”
Harling also praises Tippett’s NHL-ready size:
"“Tippett is also a big player that uses his size, reach and strength to protect the puck, win board battles and provide a strong net presence.”"
Bill Placzek of My Draft Site also praises Owen’s size as well as girth. But he is more impressed by other aspects of the winger, calling him a “pure goal-scoring speedster” who is a “threat from anywhere inside the attack zone.”
Placzek would like to see Tippett work on reading situations better and his defense.
Ben Kerr of Last Word on Sports concurs that Tippett’s defense is a “work in progress.” However, Kerr is a fan of Owen’s skating, pointing out that his ability to change speed allows him to “take defenders wide and drive to the front of the net, where he has the soft hands to finish in tight.” Kerr adds:
"“He also has the agility and edge work necessary to make a wide variety of moves, and quick cuts that makes him extremely tough to defend. Tippett has good balance, and the lower body strength and power to fight through an opponents checks.”"
Kerr also remarks that Tippett is especially dangerous on the rush.
Future Considerations does a great job of describing the skill set Owen Tippett offers:
"“A strongly built, scoring winger who possesses that natural scorer’s touch. 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.”"
Because of all his skill, Owen Tippett is often compared to Phil Kessel. However, I think the speed, especially on the breakaway, combined with sniper shooting make him a natural comparison to Matt Duchene.
Tippett is ranked #7 among North American skaters by Central Scouting. However, he’s predicted to go between #4 to #11 in the draft.
Owen Tippett in action:
Owen Tippett and the Colorado Avalanche
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A Matt Duchene-style player has been ideal for the Colorado Avalanche since 2009, so why not now? Especially if (whelp) the team is considering trading the original Dutchy.
Tippett has been praised for his speed as well as his sniper’s shot, and those qualities are greatly prized in the current Avalanche style. Also, Owen likes to shoot, which is something the Avs need on the team.
That said, a secondary refrain in scouting reports is that Owen Tippett still has a lot of work to do to become NHL-ready. You usually expect a top-four pick to at least be ready to transition into the AHL right away and be available for call-ups. You want a first- or second-overall to play right away.
Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are going #1 and #2 this year. Because Tippett apparently still needs a fair amount of work, I think he’ll drop out of the top-five but stay in the top-10. That means he’s unlikely to be much on the Avalanche’s radar.
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However, if Colorado trades down, I could see Owen Tippett being a player they’d want. He could add value to the team… eventually.