The 24-year-old (above) spent last season in Sweden with Tingsryds AIF, having previously racked up over 250 games in the AHL.
Phillips was a first round NHL draft pick by Minnesota Wild in 2011.
Panthers’ boss Corey Neilson said: “I like his attitude and I very much like the detailed reports I’ve had in about his skill set.
“He can play centre or right wing and we see him on the first line leading the offense.
“Zack’s an impact player and we’re very pleased to land him for the Panthers.
“He’s coming from a very fast league in Sweden, we’ve made no secret of wanting to sign young and hungry players and that sums him up.
“The squad is shaping up very well. It’s all about putting the pieces of the jigsaw together.
“Zack is a big and important piece of that puzzle.”
The Panthers have also confirmed Canadian defender Mathieu Gagnon has signed for the club.
Gagnon played for Brampton Beast in the ECHL last season and will add some much-needed grit on the Panthers’ blueline.
“He can play and make plays – he’s listed as a forward and a defenseman, but primarily his games up front have come when he has been called up to provide toughness,” added Neilson.
“His regular position is on the blueline and we see him as a great addition to the line-up for us. He’s going to fit in well with the other guys we’ve got and have lined up on Panthers’ defence.”
“He’s hard to play against and that’s something we wanted to add. We wanted to give our goalies more protection – Mathieu does that and he can play.”