Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2017 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here.
The 9th overall pick in the 2015 OHL Draft,
Markus Phillips, had a solid second season with the Owen Sound Attack. Like many of his Owen Sound teammates, Phillips had a slow start to his season, but really picked things up down the stretch. Owen Sound was one of the best teams in the OHL down the stretch, and he was a big part of that. Phillips had nine goals and 31 points over the final 27 games of the regular season. Overall he finished with 13 goals and 40 points in 66 games. Phillips added five assists in 17 playoff games as the Attack lost to the Erie Otters in the OHL Western Conference final.
Phillips has also played for Canada on the international stage. He was the captain of the 2016 Ivan Hlinka team. He also played for the 2016 IIHF Under-18 Team as an underage player. Phillips was also named captain for Team Canada Red at the 2015-16 Under 17 World Hockey Challenge. He also appeared at the Top Prospects Game.
Markus Phillips Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #72
Defense — shoots Left
Born March 21st, 1999 — Toronto, Ontario
Height 6’0″ — Weight 200 lbs [183 cm / 91 kg]
Phillips is a very smooth skater. While his speed is very good, it is not quite elite. However, his stride gives him very good acceleration, and he is very quick to loose pucks. He also has excellent edge work and pivots. Phillips transitions quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. His backwards skating is almost as good as his forward movement, and makes him difficult to beat. Phillips has outstanding lateral agility, helping him defensively in maintaining gap control, as well as offensively in making plays at the offensive blue line.
Markus Phillips can score from the point with a very good slap shot and a strong wrist shot. His slap shot is especially effective as a one-timer. With the puck on his stick, he has the poise to control the play, and walks the line to open up passing and shooting lanes with his lateral agility. Phillips also has a very good wrist shot and excellent release. He can sneak down from the point to let it go, as well as using it as a trailer on the rush.
Phillips strong skating and puck handling skills allow him to lead the rush. He has good vision and can make a strong pass to a teammate on the rush as well as quarterback the power play from the point. He transitions the puck quickly, avoiding fore checkers in his own end, and skating out of danger. He also has the ability to start the rush with a good first pass, or make a long breakaway pass to a teammate.
Phillips is strong in one-on-one situations. His skating helps him keep his body between the attacker and the net. He forces forwards to the outside and uses a quick stick to steal pucks and move things the other way. While Phillips is not a huge hitter, he is willing to play physical in the corners and in front of the net. He could stand to use a bit more muscle on his frame though. He battles hard for loose pucks and contains his man on the cycle. Positioning can be a bit of an issue, as he can get over agressive in chasing the puck carrier and losing his man. It is something he will need to work on going forward.
Projection and Comparison
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.
The following is a collection of highlight videos available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.