So. | D | Farmington Hills, Mich.
His Statistics: Phillips finished his freshman season with 10 goals and five assists for 15 points, second-highest among Minuteman defensemen last season, while appearing in 33 of Massachusetts’ 35 contests. He tied for the team lead with five power-play goals and ranked third on the roster with 10 goals overall.
What He Does: Phillips spent much of his freshman season being paired up on the blueline with a fellow freshman in Conor Allen, and during the second half of the season, the pair spent a large portion of time being matched up against some of the top forwards in Hockey East. Phillips also saw extensive power play time last season, with seven of his 15 points last year coming on the power play.
The Bigger Picture: Despite fielding a young roster last season, the Minutemen earned the eighth and final spot in the Hockey East playoffs before falling to top-seeded Boston College in the first round. Massachusetts returns 10 of its top 11 scorers from last season on offense, and sees the departure of just one skater skater from among the blueliners. UMass will have to replace departed senior Paul Dainton in between the pipes, where he spent more than 80 percent of the team’s minutes last season. Head coach Don Cahoon also added former Massachusetts-Lowell head coach Blaise MacDonald to his coaching staff as an associate head coach during the offseason. With the vast majority of last year’s roster returning a year bigger, stronger and more experienced, the Minutemen have their sights set on climbing the standings in Hockey East.