Zach Phillips C, Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL
Phillps was the second highest scorer on the memorial cup winning Sea Dogs. At 18 years old he posted 38 goals and 95 points in 67 games. He went on to add another 9 goals and 24 points in the playoffs for the Sea Dogs.
The Canadiens are a team that doesn't have a week spot that stands above other needs. They are full of good forwards and defenseman but some are aging. There will be some gaps at C to fill soon with Scott Gomez turning 32 this year and Thomas Plekanec also aging. The Habs already have Leblanc and Lars Eller in there system so with the drafting of Phillips the Habs will have three great centers to look forward to in the future.
After drafting Phillips the Canadiens will have plenty of depth at center so they can start to draft wingers or defenseman for the future in the up coming drafts.
Phillips was surrounded by great talent on the Sea Dogs which no doubt inflated his numbers but there is no denying his hockey sense, passing, and shot. Phillips always seems to be open for a shot and has a very quick release. He seems to find the right place at the right time. He also showed to be a big game player as he scored the game winning goal and added an assist on an insurance goal in the Memorial Cup final.
As a scoring forward it might be said that Phillips in a liability in his own zone. However he wasn't afraid to use his 6'1 frame to lay a hit or block a shot. He was also used on the penalty kill of the Sea Dogs. At 18 years old he also has plenty of time to add bulk.