Chris Phillips was born in Fort McMurray, Alberta, and first started playing in the WHL in 1995 with the Prince Albert Raiders. He was selected to play on the Memorial Cup All-Star team, and helped his team make it to the Finals where he was named the top defenseman. Phillips also participated in the 1995 Canada Winter Games, as the captain of the Alberta team. 1996 saw Phillips be selected as Rookie of the Year in the WHL and 1997 saw him rewarded with the Bill Hunter Trophy for top defenseman in the WHL. Phillips was drafted, first overall, by the Ottawa Senators in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, in what was actually a fairly slow draft year. He played with the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a season before making his debut with the Senators in the 1997-1998 NHL season. Phillips played consistent defensive hockey for the Senators, quickly becoming one of the fan favourites in Ottawa and posting an average of just under 20 points a season. He was also a consistent player in the playoffs and helped guide the Senators to some reasonable post-season success. Phillips spent the NHL lockout season with Brynas IF in Sweden, along with Tyler Arnason and Kimmo Timonen. Phillips returned, after the lockout, to Ottawa and picked up where he left off. He was named alternate captain in the 2006-2007 season after the Senators lost Zdeno Chara. As a result of the promotion, Phillips picked up his production a bit and had a career best year in goals, with eight, and points, with 26. He also played in 20 playoff games and was a steady presence on the blueline. Phillips will continue to perform his defensive duties in Ottawa and will be the sturdy presence at the core of Ottawa's defense. He won't produce much by way of points, as even twenty points is a stretch for the player, but he will make a defensive impact and is responsible at both ends of the ice.