Belfast Giants defenceman David Phillips has been handed the chance to earn a shot at joining one of the biggest clubs in the world.
The 21-year-old will join NHL club Chicago Blackhawks next month when they hold what is called a ‘prospects camp’ where unsigned free agents and minor league players try to impress watching scouts.
Former Basingstoke Bison coach Mark Bernard is now the general manager of the Blackhawks minor league affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. He is also a close friend of Giants coach Steve Thornton and has followed up a recommendation that came his way after the recent World Championship series in Poland.
“This is a great opportunity for Davey and is a great testament to his development and hard work over the last year,” said Thornton.
“I think he really impressed the GB coaching staff when he went to the World Championships and Paul Thompson believes that he could have an opportunity to play in north-America sometime in the future.”
Phillips hit ten goals in 71 games last season, including a key strike in the British Knockout Cup final win over Manchester Phoenix.
“I never dreamed of ever getting to skate with prospects from an NHL team in front of their scouts, it’s a once in a lifetime experience and I am really looking forward to it,” said Phillips.