Friday, June 10, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Zack Phillips #31

By Eldon MacDonald

31. Zack Phillips - “Top Dog” - C/RW - Canada

Vitals: Size - 6’1”, 178 lb.; Shoots right; Born: 28-Oct-92 - Fredericton, NB
Team: Saint John, QMJHL
2010-11Stats: 67-38-57-95-16-(+48) + QMJHL playoffs 17-9-15-24-8-(+8) + Memorial Cup 4-1-4-5-0-(+3)

9 - The Hockey News per TSN
12 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
15 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
19 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (15th North American skater)
21 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
24 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
24 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
26 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
27 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
28 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
28 - McKeen's June Top 30
29 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
31 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
34 - ISS per TSN
Draft result:
28 - Minnesota Wild

If you watched the last game of junior hockey in the year (Memorial Cup Championship game), you saw Zack Phillip’s year in a microcosm and why he is so highly rated in this year’s draft. There have been criticisms of Zack that his points are inflated because he plays with Jonathan Huberdeau and it is true. However, they are inflated not because he leeches of Huburdeau but because they feed of each other - think, Henrik to Daniel or Backstrom to Ovie. Go to the final game highlights and watch how well Zach finishes on goal two (Memorial Cup winning goal) from Huburdeau and how well he passes to Huburdeau on goal three to seal the victory. What you didn’t see in the highlights but was apparent in the game was his dedication to his defensive responsibilities and his ability to kill penalties.

Only four CHL draft eligible players had more points this year than Zack Phillips (95) and I think you know their names - Nugent-Hopkins (106), Strome (106), Huburdeau (105) and Couturier (96). So Zack Phillips is in elite company and he is in elite company because he has the ability to see the game at a higher level, the hands to deliver those sublime passes that make a difference, the agility and determination to be effective in traffic and a quick pop to his shot to finish things off. Add to that a willingness to go into the dirty areas, a good defense and you have a very effective two-way hockey player and a “Top Dog”. Here is what his coach, Gerard Gallant had this to say about him at, "Zack has great vision and is strong on the puck. He's a solid center and has come a long way in a short time. He kind of reminds me of an Adam Oates-type of player … he's strong on the puck down low and in the corners and has nifty hands."

There are just two things holding Zach back from the top 10 status that his fellow top point getters can likely claim - skating (lack of high end speed and a passing gear) and just an average frame (he will have to bulk up a lot to bring his current “in traffic” style to the next level). Where does all the above leave Zack for the draft??? If you can believe the rankings above, mid-first to very early second is the range.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Elite Prospects - Rumours

The Goalie Guild

Elite Prospects - Confirmed Transfers

Elliotte Friedman - CBC/HNIC

  © Distributed by Blogger Templates. Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP