On Wednesday morning, overage defenceman Markus Phillips became a member of the London Knights.
London acquired Phillips from the Guelph Storm for a second-round pick in 2023 that used to belong to the Hamilton Bulldogs, a third-round pick in 2021 that once belonged to Barrie and the Knights’ own fourth-round selection in 2021.
Phillips is from Port Perry, Ont., and began his OHL career with the Owen Sound Attack after being selected ninth overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection. He was traded to Guelph at last year’s trade deadline for six draft picks and helped the Storm capture the OHL championship last May.
Phillips was also a member of Team Canada at the 2019 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
London general manager Mark Hunter, who recently returned from helping Team Canada win gold at this year’s world junior tournament, says this is a move he feels will help the Knights on the blue line.
“Markus is a veteran player that brings a lot of experience to our blue line. He was a large part of the Storm’s championship run last season, and we believe he will be a strong addition to our team.”
When he came into the OHL, Phillips was a puck-moving defenceman who would jump into the rush and push offensively. While he still has those traits and that ability, he has really rounded out his ability through 259 games in major junior and can be relied on to do just about anything on the ice.
Phillips is an overage player, and he gives the Knights four 20-year olds in a league that limits that number to three. London will need to be down to three by the overage trade deadline, which comes up on Thursday. The deadline to move all other players will be Friday.
The Knights’ next game will be Friday night when they host the Barrie Colts at 7:30 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens.