As a junior defenceman with Prince Albert and Lethbridge of the WHL, Chris Phillips was a big, strapping blueliner. He was voted the WHL's Rookie of the Year in 1995-96 and he finished the following season as a member of the Memorial Cup All-Star Team, despite his club's loss to the Hull Olympiques in the finals.
A two-time gold medal winner with Canada's World Junior team, Phillips was selected first overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Upon completion of his two-year junior career, he went straight to work for his new NHL employer in the nation's capital. In a Senator's sweater, Phillips didn't leap out of the starting gate as a blueline stallion. Instead, he brought his assets to the table and has had to work hard to translate his junior dominance to the bigger, tougher, and more talented NHL.
In his favour, Phillips has an exceptional arsenal of skills, including a heavy point shot, a long reach, a wide body and surprising foot speed. He has been hampered by frequent injuries at times and yet managed to establish a career high in goals (6), assists (16) and points with (22) during the 2001-02 season, before bettering those totals in 2003-04.
Aside from his World Junior experience, Phillips represented his homeland at the 2000, 2005, and 2009 World Championships.