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01-06-2013, 08:47 AM
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I think he'll work at either center or on the wing. He spent some time at both positions during his tenure with the Sea Dogs and played very well in both spots. At this early stage in his career he may struggle less on the wing, for the reasons you mentioned above. The kid may not be the fastest skater out there, but he never has been. His game has always been about seeing the ice in a way most other players don't and making the great players around him even greater than they are on their own. When you combine that skill with his incredible work ethic and his team first mentality you're left with someone who may not be a speed demon, but is someone that other teams have a hard time playing against, and who is someone that has the ability to put the puck in the net on every shift. Not to mention I have watched him go from someone who was a purely offensive player his first season in St. John to a player who grew into a force from one end of the ice to the other. He has the ability to read the ice both in the offensive zone as well as in his own end and end up right where he needs to be to make a key interception or send a teammate out on a breakaway. I've got a lot of faith in Phillips regardless of whether he finds a role as a center or winger, and I think everyone will end up being pretty happy with that pick for years to come. I'd almost like to see him find a spot on the wing with Granlund and Coyle, as what he and Coyle did together last season was ridiculous. Those two were scoring highlight reel goals night in and night out and it seemed every time one scored it was the other setting it up with an absolutely beautiful feed.

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