Considering that was like the weakest draft ever, Phillips looks like the best pick from that draft (or at least close to it.) So I definitely wouldn't say he's a bust, just overshadowed by Chara and Redden.
He's shown the ability to be at least a #2 d-man in the playoffs. By no means a bust...I'd like to have a lot of playoff performers on my team. He won't rack up the points of a Redden because he's a defensive defenseman...something you need to be successful.
I'd glady welcome Phillips in Edmonton over Kelly or Bonsignore. While he certainly isn't a superstar in the NHL, he's a very solid player and is doing a lot better than Zyuzin, Dumont, Volchkov, Jackman (though he's playing well with the Pens), Devereaux and Aitken. In fact, the only players taken in the draft that look better than Phillips are Morris, Sturm (it's close), Chara, Kaberle and Kubina. I'd say Ottawa made out quite well in 1996 compared to most teams that picked in the top 10..
Any of the 8 people who voted he is a bust care to provide some reasoning?
I did. I think this is a flawed poll. Either he's a bust or he isn't. There's nothing in between. Phillips is a very capable top-4 D, however, he hasn't really lived up to his potential yet. He could have been GREAT, now he's just GOOD.