When GM Chuck Fletcher announced "Jonas Brodin" as their first selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, many of us were disappointed. Many of us wanted an offensive forward. Something that wasn't named Mikael Granlund.
So when I learned that we acquired the 28th pick from the Brent Burns trade and when Zack Phillips name was announced, I jumped out of my seat.
And with your #6 prospect, here we have Zack Phillips!
#7 / Center / Saint John Sea Dogs
Oct 28, 1990
|2010 - Saint John Sea Dogs
Very good hockey sense. Has good offensive abilities; a gifted playmaker and can also score goals. Good hands and can show off some impressive 1-on-1 moves. Willing to drive to the net to make something happen. Versatile; can play either on the wing or center position.
Skating is a concern; is not overly fast and does not possess good acceleration. Questions whether his point production was because of his skills or because of playing alongside an extremely talented cast (Jonathan Huberdeau and Tomas Jurco to name only a few).
After trading away Brent Burns, Wild fans got another reason to stay in the seats and until the end of the draft. Through the trade, the Wild acquired the 28th overall pick, which they used to select Zack Phillips.
Phillips is a playmaking forward that can score goals as well and play in all forward positions. That is a valuable asset on ANY team.
His major concern was whether his skating weakness would hamper him when he reached the pro level, but those concerns have been quickly calmed after a few viewings from training camp where he showed he could keep up with many of the Wild pros.
Even after an solid Traverse City Prospect Tournament, Phillips will most likely find his way back to the juniors.
The Wild management do not want to screw up his development and it would be very interesting to see what Phillips can do with the absence of his linemate Jonathan Huberdeau, who apparently has a high chance of playing for the Florida Panthers this season.
His upside as a top six offensive forward will be key for refilling the Wild's prospect pool.