Penn State adds Minnesota transfer Phillips to 2019-20 defense corps

Clayton Phillips University of Minnesota commit (Tim Brule)
Clayton Phillips competes at the 2017 NHL Combine before being chosen by Pittsburgh in that summer’s draft in Chicago (photo: Dan & Margaret Hickling/Hickling Images).

Penn State announced Wednesday the addition of junior transfer Clayton Phillips from Minnesota.

The defenseman will be immediately eligible to play this season and has two years of eligibility remaining after being granted an NCAA transfer waiver.

“Clayton is an elite skating defenseman who will add depth and experience to our roster with his previous NCAA participation,” Nittany Lions coach Guy Gadowsky said in a statement. “He moves pucks extremely well and likes to get up in the play making him a great addition to our back end.”

Phillips, a 2017 third-round draft pick (93rd overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins, joins the Nittany Lions after spending the past year and a half playing for Minnesota. Phillips scored one goal while adding nine assists in 34 games last season and played 11 games during the 2017-18 season.

“I choose Penn State [as a transfer school] because of the combination of athletics and academics,” added Phillips. “Penn State provides every opportunity you need to succeed as a student-athlete in both the classroom and on the ice.”

The Edina, Minn., native joined the Golden Gophers midway through the 2017-18 season after spending parts of three seasons in the USHL.