Zack Phillips hasn't had much of a summer, and that's just fine with him. Last season, he and fellow Wild prospect Charlie Coyle
helped their junior team, the Saint John Sea Dogs, make a deep playoff run to within one game of the Memorial Cup Finals.
Along the way, Phillips helped the Sea Dogs capture the President’s Cup, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff championship, while leading the playoffs in assists. The Fredericton, New Brunswick native was named the team's Most Valuable Player for his regular-and post-season performances. He dishes on his summer training and his favorite offseason pastime.
How’s your summer been so far?
It’s good. I’ve been working hard; it’s been a pretty short one, especially because we went so far last season. But I’m getting ready for next season.
With you guys going so far, how long did it take to get back on the ice?
Well, I didn’t for probably the first month, I tried to stay clear of it. But the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to get on as much as I can. Usually three or four times a week at least.
Three or four times a week during the summer seems like quite a bit, is that your normal summertime routine?
Yeah, I’m just trying to stay fresh. You have to work on your hands all the time through the summer. I’ve tried to come into training camp with not very much ice time and you don’t really feel quite like you’re in game shape, so it’s good to get on the ice.
Away from the rink in the summer what do you like to do and what are your favorite activities?
I love fishing. I live on a lake so I go out a lot with my dad and grandfather. Golf a little, but it’s mostly fishing when I’m not in the gym.
What kind of fish do you fish for in Fredericton?
Bass usually, small mouth bass.
Are the lakes in Fredericton comparable to the lakes in Minnesota? Have you ever been out in Minnesota?
Yeah, I went fishing last summer. I think the lakes here are a little bit nicer. But we still fish at home, that’s what I like to do.
And that has to be fun to get out with the family for a little male bonding time?
Yeah, it’s always good to spend time with the family. Especially getting out with my grandfather is always nice.
Do you have any secrets to fishing or maybe superstitions?
No, I try to use the same lures in different spots. My grandfather knows pretty much every fishing hole around, so he’s usually the guy with all the secrets, not me.
He’s a Wiley Old Veteran?
(Laugh) Yeah, exactly.