Owen Tippett will ‘probably be in our starting lineup,’ says Panthers GM

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The Florida Panthers made three cuts to their training camp roster on Friday, and 2017 first-round pick Owen Tippett remains with the big club.

The Panthers selected Tippett 10th overall in June, following his 44-goal, 75-point season with the Mississauga Steelheads in the Ontario Hockey League. He certainly has a belief in his natural abilities, saying earlier in the summer that he has the upside of Phil Kessel, who has been among the more dangerous scorers in the league over the past several years.

Still, the Panthers are done their preseason schedule and the training camp roster is now down to 26 players. In July, general manager Dale Tallon said the organization would give Tippett every opportunity to make the NHL club out of training camp, and it appears the prospect forward is on the verge of making that happen.

Tippett is only 18 years old, and sending him back to junior without passing that 10-game threshold and using up a year of his entry-level contract is also an option for the Panthers.

“Based on our coaches and how his camp has gone, he’ll probably be in our starting lineup,” Tallon told the National Post about Tippett on Friday. “What I like about him is he wants the puck and he wants it in critical situations. I think his game is very well suited to the pros.”

The Panthers open the 2017-18 season on the road against the Lightning on Friday, before returning home to face the Bolts the following night.