It isn't uncommon to see minor-league players make the jump to European leagues in the final years of their career.
What is uncommon is to see American players make that jump to Europe first as a way to kickstart their professional careers. That's just what Nailers forward Michael Phillips did, though.
For Phillips, 26, professional hockey was never a guarantee. He's a product of Division III Babson College, a program which isn't exactly known for sending players to the pro ranks after college. When Phillips got an offer to play in France following his senior season, he jumped on the opportunity.