Clayton Phillips was a nomad last season. After a few games with his USHL team, the Fargo Force, the defenseman was dealt to the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Then he opted for collegiate hockey and a December enrollment at the University of Minnesota. For short distances, he traveled a lot of miles. It is easy for one to get the sense the moves weren’t part of Phillip’s vision but things may have worked out for the best.
The Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 third-round choice (93rd overall) will not even have the same head coach next season at Minnesota. It was a year of upheaval.
“Last year was kind of a different year than I expected going into it,” Phillips said. “Coach (Don) Lucia said he’d be open for me to commit (to Minnesota) at Christmas. And I absolutely love it in Minnesota.”