Another prospect expected to go higher in the draft fell to the Kings today with the selection of Markus Phillips. Phillips is a left-shot defenseman who captained Team Canada during this season’s Hlinka Tournament. His name popped up frequently as a possible third round candidate, or even low second, but as this draft year’s already proven, anything can happen.
Phillips’ skating is what makes him shine, and what makes him an intriguing prospect. He’s been working on improving his all around game, including offense, and jumped from three goals in 2015-16 to 13 this past season. Any deficiencies he may have with positioning or being too quick to jump into plays are things that can be worked on with him as he continues his career with the Owen Sound Attack.
- Strong skater, particularly his backwards skating and transitions
- Good passer, especially first passes and breakouts
- Can get too aggressive in his positioning
- Projected top-four defenseman, can contribute to power play
LA picks Markus Phillips. I've always liked him when I've watched. He's not dynamic, but smart two-way D who skates well.— (((Corey Pronman))) (@coreypronman) June 24, 2017
2nd is Markus Phillips (great last name btw) of the @AttackOHL. Smart player and a phenomenal skater. Maybe one of the best in the draft.— Brad Phillips (@BradHPhillips) June 24, 2017
Kings take Owen Sound LHD Markus Phillips. Good speed, needs to tighten up puck management— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) June 24, 2017
The Kings make a great selection with Markus Phillips. Stocky, two-way defender was one of the highest scoring defenders in the O, 2nd half.— OHL Prospects (@BrockOtten) June 24, 2017
NHL Central Scouting (North American skaters): 50th
ISS Hockey: 45th
Future Considerations: 60th
TSN (Bob McKenzie): 92nd
WHAT EVERYONE’S SAYING:
Markus Phillips could develop into a top four defenceman capable of playing in all situations. While he likely will not be a huge offensive contributor, he can develop into a player who can contribute on the power play. With a bit more strength and work on his positioning, he can also be a penalty kill contributor. There is potential here, but he will need time in Juniors and the AHL. Phillips game is comparable to Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues, but this is a style comparison only, not a talent based one.
This past season he showed up offensively to become a true two-way defenseman at the OHL level, proving that he was more than just a defensive player. He relies on his fast skating and good puck moving skills to help create offensive chances, but in the playoffs, they were neutralized under a neutral zone trap and tight one-on-one man coverage in the offensive zone. His hockey IQ is decent, but he showed that he still needs to work on recognizing his surroundings and where the puck is being played in the defensive zone.
Phillips likes to jump up on the rush, and while a season ago he was making ill-advised decisions doing so, he has greatly improved in that area. He’s making smarter first passes and he can lug the puck with speed and does an excellent job at protecting it. Once in the zone he has very good vision and is an excellent passer, and when you combine those assets, he’s very good at setting up teammates. Simply put, he creates scoring chances.