2007-08: Zack Phillips was chosen in the second round, 34th overall, of the 2008 QMJHL Entry Draft by the Lewiston Maineiacs.
2008-09: Phillips played for Lawrence Academy in New England, scoring 19 goals and adding 29 assists for 48 points in 30 games. Phillips was dealt to the Saint John Sea Dogs prior to the 2009-10 season.
2009-10: In his QMJHL rookie season, Phillips played in 65 games, for the Sea Dogs. He scored 16 goals and added 28 assists for 44 points. In 21 playoff games, he scored 2 goals and added 4 assists for 6 points.
2010-11: In 67 games for the Sea Dogs, Phillips scored 38 goals and added 57 assists for 95 points on the season. Played for Team Orr at the 2011 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, scoring 1 goal and adding 2 assists for 3 points in Orr’s 7-1 win over Team Cherry. Phillips was chosen in the first round, 28th overall, of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild.
2011-12: Signed to a three-year entry-level contract by the Wild in December 2011, Phillips was the second-leading scorer for the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs in his third junior season. He scored 30 goals with 50 assists in 60 games and was plus-47 with 32 penalty minutes. The Sea Dogs won 50 of 68 games in finishing with the league’s best record and were 16-1 in the playoffs. Phillips scored 9 goals with 23 assists and was plus-29 in the playoffs. In four games at the Memorial Cup he scored 3 goals and 1 assist and was an even plus/minus. Saint John finished 2-2 at the tournament; falling to Shawinigan in the semifinal game.
2012-13: Phillips skated in 71 games for Wild AHL affiliate Houston in his first pro season. The 20-year-old scored 8 goals with 19 assists and was -11 with 10 penalty minutes. The Aeros were fourth in the South Division and lost to Grand Rapids in the first round of the playoffs. Phillips had 1 assist and was -4 with 2 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He was with the Wild during the NHL playoffs but did not appear in any games.
2013-14: Phillips attended NHL training camp with Minnesota before skating for Wild AHL affiliate Iowa in his second pro season. The only player to skate in all 76 games for Iowa, he led the offensively-challenged club in points with 12 goals and 21 assists and was minus-30 with 16 penalty minutes. Iowa missed the AHL playoffs; finishing fifth in the Midwest Division.
Phillips is a cerebral offensive forward and primarily a playmaker. He was a goal scorer at the junior level, displaying great on ice vision and loads of hockey sense with the ability to anticipate the play. Playing against better skating and more skilled players at the pro level he has not had that same offensive success. At the same time he is only average-sized and not particularly physical and his mobility is a liability at times — which limits his ability to play a defensive, checking role.
Phillips spent most of the 2014-15 season with Minnesota Wild AHL affiliate Iowa before being obtained by the Bruins in exchange for Jared Knight in March 2015. After putting up big numbers while skating alongside Jonathan Huberdeau in junior hockey Phillips is likely never going to be that type of scorer at the pro level. Now in his third pro season, to eventually reach the NHL he will likely have to play a two-way, lower line game. His limited mobility, lack of size and inconsistent game are obstacles to him playing that role.