Waiting for Phillips...A reappraisal.

Seeing that Phillips is undergoing an awful season, many on this site have remarked Statistically or otherwise how bad of a defenceman Phillips has been. Personally, Phillips has been a huge disappointment, not only this season, but also throughout his career. I know that some of you will comment that he's been a rock solid defensive defenceman, our best playoff performer, etc.. Heck, some out there would like to see his Jersey hanging from the rafters. Seeing that he is a no1 pick overall in the 1996 draft should we have expected more out of him? Or is it the case of us the fans trying to save face that we have accepted a defenceman with unjustifiably lowered expectations. Phillips has always flown under the radar. Justifiably, his first few seasons we adequate for a young defensemen adapting to the NHL, thus in that respect any overt criticism of his play was washed over with refrains of he's still young and developing. A valid point. But as he matured Phillips never quite caught on as a dominant player that fans should expect from a no1 pick. Seems to me that he was somewhat content to ride the coattails of Big Z and Volchy. As painful as it may seem, Phillips has been a bust. Dare I say comparable to Daigle? To back up my argument, I've researched the output of past no1 picks. Where does Phillips stand up in comparison with other no1 picks? Well lets just say that he's more in the Daigle category than in the Sidney category. It's safe to say that when a team picks first usually the return should be an impact player. There is always a risk involved but usually, expectations are justifiable. If the player does not meet these expectations, he's naturally deemed a bust. Thus Daigle and Stefan are examples. Phillips should be included with them. Here's the breakdown.

Draft year Ranking of no1 picks in terms of points scored by his draft position.

1992 Hamerlik 2nd

1993 Daigle 9th

1994 Jovonovski 1st

1995 Berard 1st

1996 Phillips 8th

1997 Thornton 1st

1998 Lecavalier 1st

1999 Stephan 3rd

2000 Dipietro 2nd (in terms of wins)

2001 Kovalchuck 1st

2002 Nash 1st

2003 Fleury 1st (in terms of wins)

2004 Ovie 1st

2005 SId 1st

2006 Johnson 1st

2007 Kane 1st

2008 Stamkos 1st

From 1992 to 2008, the 18 players taken 1st overall, 15 lead their respective draft class 3 are second 1 is third, Phillips is 8th best in terms of total points for d-men and Daigle is 9th for centremen.

On top of that Lydman and Rozival are soon to surpass Phillips in Total points. Which would bump him to (in terms of points) to 10th position...Worse than Daigle.

Still at the age of 32, Phillips is in his prime. I still remember waiting patiently for him to develop into an impact player and for years thought maybe this year he is going to bust out. It is true that at some point, Phillips was and could be a valuable member of the defensive corps. But in my opinion, it`s hard to reconcile his lowered expectations with a potential that went unfulfilled.

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