In the waning hours of 2017, the Calgary Flames have taken care of a little bit of unfinished business. The club has announced that they have signed forward Matthew Phillips to a three-year entry-level contract. Terms of the deal aren’t immediately known, but it begins in the 2018-19 season.
Phillips, 19, was the Flames’ sixth round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft. He has been, quite simply, an offensive machine since entering the Western Hockey League full-time with the Victoria Royals in 2015-16.
- 76 points in 72 games as a rookie in 2015-16
- 90 points in 70 games in 2016-17
- 59 points in 39 games (so far) in 2017-18
Phillips is not a large person, listed generously at 5’7″ and 150 pounds. But the NHL is not a large man’s league as much anymore – the Flames roster currently features an undersized NHL scoring machine in Johnny Gaudreau and an undersized AHL scoring machine in Andrew Mangiapane. When market inefficiencies have handed Brad Treliving’s Flames assets in recent years, he’s been smart enough to say “thank you” and make the most of them. Signing Phillips, despite any concerns about his size, is another example of that. Worst-case, he’s an offensive option for Stockton next season.
As a previously unsigned 2016 pick, Phillips was one of two players the Flames could lose the rights to if they were unsigned by June 1, 2018 – the other being AHL blueliner Adam Ollas Mattsson.