FRB Top 20 Prospects: #6...Zack Phillips

Zack Phillips, Center
Iowa Wild (AHL)
6'1", 198 lbs 10/28/1992 Fredericton, NB
First Round (28th Overall), 2011 Draft 

Based on the fact Zack Phillips was drafted the same night Minnesota picked Jonas Brodin and acquired Charlie Coyle, his lack of NHL staypower as a 20 year-old is a reminder on that end we're spoiled.

Phillips, who was junior teammates with Coyle for half a season in Saint John, just completed his first full year as a professional. The 2011 first round pick (and in fact the only first round pick we've profiled before the Draft) spent the entire season in Houston where he had 27 points (8G-19A) in 71 games for the Aeros.

However, consistency was the biggest issue for Phillips. The AHL is a step up from the QMJHL and an adjustment is needed. The 6'1" forward is a scorer at heart and can set up others, but did not contribute offensively this season. Several of his weaknesses like skating (not the fastest guy) stood out more with the Aeros than at lower levels. In fact, Phillips was a healthy scratch at one point in January. While many of his teammates saw time with Minnesota, Phillips did not nor is he in consideration for an NHL roster spot right now.

There is talent. Phillips showed it during his years on a talented Saint John team and at times in Houston. Next year will be key to see improvement, though.

Not everyone steps in right away. Given Minnesota's history of rushing prospects, that is for the best.

But Phillips does have a mean playoff beard.

Previous 2013 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Prospect Articles:
#7: Mario Lucia
#8: Johan Gustafsson
#9: Raphael Bussieres
#10: Brett Bulmer
#11: Daniel Gunnarsson
#12: Tyler Graovac
#13: Gustav Olofsson
#14: John Draeger
#15: Adam Gilmour
#16: Nick Seeler
#17: Dylan Labbe
#18: Kyle Medvec
#19: Kris Foucault
#20: Avery Peterson

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Photo Credits: Bruce Bennett/Getty & Sportsnet

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