Childhood friends Isaac Phillips and Mitchell Weeks reunite with the Black Hawks

Isaac Phillips was hanging out in the summer when he got a call from Black Hawks goalkeeper coach Peter Aubrey.

“He was like, ‘Do you know anything about Mitchell Weeks?'” Phillips recalls. I was watching him at OHL.” “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know a thing or two. He’s my best friend.’” And about an hour later, [Rockford IceHogs president of hockey operations and GM] Mark Bernard called me and said, “We might offer him a contract,” and I’m like, “You should!” It’s kind of crazy.”

On June 9, IceHogs officially signed Weeks to a two-year AHL contract which he combined with his childhood friend Phillips. The two grew up on the street far from each other in Barrie, Ontario, and this bond has only gotten stronger over time.

“We’re pretty much neighbors,” said Weeks, who scored 37 saves in Sunday’s 5-0 win over Minnesota Wild at Tom Curvers’ Prospect 2022. “I walked to his house in about two minutes when we were hanging out. I walked there and back. It’s so close.”

“I’m at the top, and then it goes down, there’s a bunch of lights, and then it’s just out of the corner there,” Phillips said. “I’m a minute’s walk away. I don’t even drive to his house.”

Despite being neighbours, the first time Phillips and Week met they weren’t in the area. It was in a league hockey game they were both playing in.

“We were really young,” Weeks said. “Our parents grew up together, my dad and his dad, so they got to know each other. They were in a beer league hockey tournament or something and I remember playing basketball with him. All the kids were hanging out. It’s the first time I remember hanging out with him. I introduced him to forever.”

Since then, Phillips and Weeks have been tied at the hip—almost literally. They played junior hockey on the same team, both were taken into draft dwarfs by Sudbury Wolves from the Ontario Hockey League (where they lived together), and now play professional hockey with IceHogs.

“It’s brutal,” Weeks said. “I don’t know what the odds are of that. Like, secondarily playing together, we grew up in the same city, it’s obvious, but then we were recruited together in Sudbury and then when I signed my contract with Rockford, I said, ‘No way, I’m just following this guy. Everywhere.” It’s really cool.”

There’s only one thing left to uncheck the box at this point, and that’s playing in an NHL game together, ideally with the Blackhawks.

“It’s a good opportunity for us,” Phillips said. “They’re in rebuilding, we’re both young, and it’s going to be making its way through Rockford and I think we’re heading up in our careers, so it’s going to be two years of fun for our families as well.”

“I definitely thought about it,” Weeks said. “It would be great. In particular, our parents would come down together and go up in the stands. That would be great to play with him in an NHL game.”

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