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Prospect Of The Week - Matthew Phillips

Matthew Phillips put up seven points in three games last week

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson /

Matthew Phillips is on fire.

The 18-year-old right winger has picked right up where he left off last season when he was named the Western Hockey League's top rookie after he scored 37 goals and 76 points in 72 regular season games with the Victoria Royals.

Last week, Phillips torched his opponents by netting four goals and seven points in three games.

Phillips and the Royals kicked off the week with a 5-1 road victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers on Oct. 11. The forward scored Victoria's third goal early in the third period and was a plus-one on the night.

The Royals were back in action on Oct. 12, taking on the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. They dropped a 5-2 decision, with Phillips collecting the primary assist on Jack Walker's first period marker.

Phillips capped off the week with an exclamation mark, scoring his second career WHL hat trick and five points in a 6-1 rout over the Edmonton Oil Kings. He opened up the scoring at 8:38, set up Tyler Soy's first period tally, scored two power play goals in the second period, and picked up the primary assist on Walker's third period goal.

Video: Phillips is thrilled to be a part of the organization

The Calgary, AB native now leads the Royals in scoring with six goals and 10 points through eight games. He is averaging 1.25 points-per-game to start his sophomore WHL season.

The Flames selected Phillips in the sixth round (166th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft. At 5-foot-7 and just 155-pounds, Phillips' size have some questioning his ceiling, but the Flames see potential in the diminutive winger.

"Size is unchangeable. We can't wave a wand and magically turn a guy 5-foot-7 into a guy that's 6-foot-4," Craig Conroy told earlier this summer. "How Matthew develops as a player is up to him. We really don't ultimately decide about players. People always say, 'Well, you guys make the decisions.' Nope. Players make the decisions. You play so well that we can't keep you off the team, then you're on the team. And vice-versa.

"What you're looking for, in any player, any size, is someone who makes a difference. All I know is that when I leave the rink after watching Matthew play, I just say, 'He's small, but he was one of the top three players on the ice. He was a difference maker.'

"Does that translate into NHL? We don't decide. He's going to tell us."

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