Toledo Walleye add a pair of forwards

Andi Roman

Forwards Zack Phillips and Abbott Girduckis have agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2019-20 season.
Phillips was drafted in the first round (28th overall) by the Minnesota Wild in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. While never making the NHL, the 26-year-old has extensive pro experience with 260 career games at the AHL level spanning four full seasons. Phillips has spent the last three seasons playing in Sweden, Germany and Austria amassing 158 games with 36 goals, 67 assists and 48 penalty minutes.
“Zack brings so much experience to us,” said Coach Dan Watson. “He is a dynamic forward with a high compete level that will fit right in with what we are trying to accomplish here.”
The native of Fredericton, New Brunswick, has only appeared in seven career ECHL contests lastly with Kalamazoo in the 2015-16 season with a pair of points (1G, 1A) in two contests. He also skated with Atlanta for five games (1G, 1A) that same season.
In the AHL, Phillips posted his best numbers during the 2013-14 campaign that saw him score 12 goals with 21 assists in a career high 76 contests for the Iowa Wild. The 6-0, 194-pound forward has also skated for Houston, Providence and Chicago in his AHL career. Prior to turning professional, Phillips spent three years with St. John in the QMJHL that included back to back QMJHL championships (2011 and 2012) and a CHL Memorial Cup Championship in 2011. His 23 assists during the 2012 playoffs led all players.
Girduckis, a native of Bellville, Ontario, rejoins the Walleye after appearing in seven games late last year that saw him post five points (3G, 2A). This comes on the heels of a four year career at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Serving as team captain last year he posted nearly a point per contest with 11 goals and 25 assists over 38 games played. Since 2015, Girduckis has appeared in 146 games for the Tigers with 93 points (30G, 63A). His point production increased in each season as a member of the Tigers.
“Abbot showed very well in his seven games with us,” said Watson. “He brings a lot to the ice from the center position and is a player who got better every year in college.”
The 23-year-old was a member of the R.I.T. team that won a league championship (AHA) in the 2015-16 season. Prior to his college days, Girduckis played junior hockey for the Wellington Dukes of the OJHL. In three seasons, the 6-1, 190-pound forward collected 113 points (55G, 58A) over 150 games. His final season (2014-15) was his breakout year with 29 goals and 32 assists over just 45 contests. (— Andi Roman/Toledo Walleye)



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