While the NCAA ranks are picked clean each year, the Canadian college scene rarely produces high end NHL prospects. That’s because most Canadian players are either snapped up in junior hockey or head south of the border to take advantage of the scholarship system. This year though there is a name that’s trying to change all that. Luke Philp, who recorded 45 points in 24 games for the University of Alberta, has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames. The deal will kick in for the 2019-20 season, despite what the press release says. Philp is currently injured.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been success stories from Canadian universities before. In fact, Philp will have an example to look up to on the Flames as new teammate Derek Ryan also attended the University of Alberta for four years before jumping into professional hockey. Ryan wasn’t as fortunate though, as he had to grind through several years overseas before proving he deserved a contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. He now carries a $3.125MM cap hit on a three-year deal with the Flames.
It’s not like Philp came out of nowhere to overwhelm the USports ranks. A former star for the Kootenay Ice of the WHL, Philp actually recorded 82 points in 71 games for the team in 2014-15 leading to a ranking on the NHL’s Central Scouting list. He wouldn’t end up being picked, but teams have kept an eye on him over the years. Previously attending development camp with the Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs, Philp was also obviously on the radar of the two Alberta teams in Edmonton and Calgary.