Panthers sign first-rounder Owen Tippett to rookie deal

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The Florida Panthers announced that they signed Owen Tippett to a three-year entry-level contract on Wednesday.

Tippett was the 10th pick of the 2017 NHL Draft, a big (red) forward who could very well go straight from the OHL to the NHL next season.

The Panthers could certainly use a scorer with his potential. He generated 44 goals in just 60 regular-season games in the OHL, and also added 10 goals in 20 playoff games for the (wonderfully named) Mississauga Steelheads. With all the roster upheaval in Florida, there’s at least a lane for him to make the team.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy for Tippett, mind you, although Panthers GM Dale Tallon indicated that he possesses certain qualities that could bode well for an immediate leap.

“I’m thrilled to sign Owen to his first NHL contract,” Tallon said. “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.”

Speaking of the Steelheads, they posted this highlight video, and also the perfect nickname for Tippett: “Ginger Snipes.” Nicely done.