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FLAMES TOP PROSPECTS - MATTHEW PHILLIPS

The winger has been an offensive powerhouse during his junior career

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

From June 10-19, CalgaryFlames.com will be highlighting the organization's most promising prospects - players who have made tremendous strides since being drafted and those who could make a push for a roster spot in the near future.

Off the ice, there's nothing about Matthew Phillips' stature that catches your eye. In fact, listed at 5-foot-7 and 140-pounds, he easily blends in amongst a throng of people. 

On the ice, however, he stands out.

Packed into his diminutive frame is a ton of skill and speed - traits that have separated from his peers throughout his career.

Ahead of earning a roster spot with the Victoria Royals, who had selected Phillips in the second round of the 2013 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, he had been tearing up the Alberta Minor Hockey League. As a member of the Bisons Bantam AAA squad, he racked up 40 goals and 77 points in 33 games in 2012-13. A couple of years later, he hit 33 goals and 73 points in 34 games with the Buffaloes Midget AAA team.

The Royals brought Phillips into the fold full-time in 2015-16 and the winger did not disappoint.

He scored 37 goals and 76 points in 72 regular season games and added eight points in 13 postseason skates that spring. His efforts earned him WHL Rookie of the Year honours as he led all rookies in goals and points that season. He was also 19th amongst all WHL skaters in scoring.

The Flames were able to land the Calgary native in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft, 166th overall. Possessing what some called elite offensive capabilities, the organization's scouts were confident he would be able to overcome size concerns with his skill.

In 2016-17, Phillips built off his strong rookie campaign with the Royals by scoring an impressive 50 goals and 90 points in 70 regular season games. In the postseason, he managed three points through six skates.

Wanting to get a feel for how the winger would adapt to the next level, the Stockton Heat brought Phillips in on a try-out agreement following Victoria's playoff exit. In one regular season game, he picked up one assist and he made into two of Stockton's five playoff games against San Jose.

Video: Get to know Flames prospect Matthew Phillips

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