With their last pick in the 2017 NHL entry draft the Edmonton Oilers selected a little known defender from the USHL’s USNTDP program, Philip Kemp. The native of Greenwich, CT didn’t light the league up but brings with him a solid all-around resume.
This fall, Kemp will suit up in the NCAA with Yale and we won’t get a chance to see him next weekend at the Youngstars tournament. So, since we have never seen this player before and won’t be seeing him for at least another year, we have to ask the question. Just who is Philip Kemp, the little known American defender selected by the Oilers with the 208th pick in June?
So…..Just Who Is Philip Kemp?
Kemp posted pedestrian offensive numbers in the USHL last season, going just 5-8-13 in 64 contests. He played a big leadership role on the team, and played a solid defensive game for the junior club. One thing to keep in mind with the offense? USHL defenders rarely post strong numbers and the league has a history of suppressing offensive numbers from defenders.
For more on Kemp’s game we turn to a few different sources, led off by SB Nation’s college hockey blog.
SB Nation: “Kemp is a pure defensive defenseman that is better when he doesn’t try to do too much. He had a really ugly game against Minnesota, but rebounded with a quiet, solid performance against UMD. He’s a potential late-round draft choice.”
Brian Lawton: “One of the guys I focussed on for this draft was Philip Kemp, another player from the NTDP, a guy that has great size at 6’3, 202 pounds. He’s a leader, he’s got steady play, he reminds me of a Ben Lovejoy. That’s a guy that I think is going to be be a real good pick for Edmonton.”
@_NeautralZone: “4-star prospect Phil Kemp, tall, pro style D-man out of Brunswick/NTDP commits to Yale. Former Brown commit.”
What Can We Expect?:
Unless it is a special circumstance (Jack Eichel at BU), freshman in the NCAA don’t see a ton of ice time. This rule especially holds for programs that are consistently good. While Yale is not a consistent powerhouse yet, they have been a very solid program over the last decade. That means Kemp will likely slowly be brought along.
I think we have to keep expectations to a minimum here, and I would consider a successful season one in which Kemp establishes himself as a regular in the Yale lineup. If he can do that, it would suggest that the coaching staff trusts him and that his game is progressing.
This is a draft-and-follow prospect, so we shouldn’t expect big numbers for a little while. Establishing himself would be, in my mind, a pretty successful season.
As I have all series, I leave you with a look at Kemp’s 2016-17 season.