The American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose will be without a familiar face for the 2020-21 season, as 27-year-old forward JC Lipon has signed with Dinamo Riga of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.
Having spent the past seven years within the AHL, and five of which in Manitoba, Lipon never could quite live up to the expectations cast upon him after being selected by Winnipeg in the third round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (91st overall).
Lipon began his professional career by suiting up for two seasons as a youngster on the former St. John’s IceCaps, before the team relocated to Manitoba in 2015-16. In splitting the following season between the Moose and Winnipeg Jets, the Regina, SK. product picked up his first NHL point, as well as his first fighting major in nine contests for Winnipeg.
The 2016-2019 seasons saw Lipon serve in a leadership role within the Moose organization, where he put up seven-straight seasons of at least 25 points and 85 penalty minutes. Other than his abbreviated 2015-16 campaign in which he bounced between the Moose and Jets, the six-foot, 190-pound forward did not fail to crack 10 goals and 100 penalty minutes in Manitoba.
The former Regina Pat Canadian played four seasons of junior hockey with the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers, where he suited up alongside Brandon’s Joel Edmundson and led his team with 23 points in 15 postseason games during the 2013 WHL Playoffs. In 248 total regular season WHL games, Lipon had 61 goals, 188 points and 375 penalty minutes. While in the AHL, he currently has 80 goals, 222 points and 839 penalty minutes to his name through 452 regular season contests.
Dinamo Riga finished the 2019-20 campaign a dismal 23-45-7, ending with just 41 points in 62 games and a minus-84 goal differential. The team will return to play on Monday, August 24 with a preseason matchup against Imatras Kettera of Finland, before battling Joensuun Kiekko-Pojat the following day. Riga concludes its preseason schedule with a test against fellow KHL club Helsinki Jokerit on August 27. Lipon will join fellow Canadians Morgan Ellis (Summerside, PEI) and Zack Mitchell (Orangeville, ON) on the squad for 2019-20.