Nashville Predators Rookie Camp begins on September 10th, so to help you get ready we'll walk our way through the prospects, from youngest to oldest.
Ryan Ellis, Defense - #49
Born: January 3, 1991 From: Hamilton, Ont.
Height: 5-10 Weight: 179 Shoots: R
2010-2011 Team: Windsor (OHL)/Milwaukee (AHL)
Stats: 58GP, 24G + 76A = 100 Pts, 61 PIM
Drafted: 2009 1st round (11) by Nashville
Follow after the jump for some background!
It is no secret, Ryan Ellis is an offensive defenseman that is a elite power play quarterback and has a cannon for a shot. He has displayed better defensive instincts each season since being drafted, but will have to prove he can handle things at his own end of the rink at the professional level before earning a spot in Nashville.
Any Preds fan who has been paying attention at all the last couple years should be able to recite this one by heart - smallish (but getting bigger), good but not the greatest of skaters, incredibly savvy with the puck and boasts a much heavier slapper than you'd expect from a 5'10" blueliner. His size doesn't concern me as much as it might used to, and he's still got some time to fill out.
Arbitrary nickname we'll give him even though he'd probably hate it
"Junior" - the guy pretty much set the gold standard for a junior hockey career, and it won't be topped any time soon, so this moniker could hang on him like a championship belt. It also serves as a reminder, however, that the NHL is a whole 'nother ballgame.
What's at stake
Ellis faces an interesting challenge right now; despite his incredible potential, he has his work cut out for him to earn an NHL roster spot ahead of guys like Roman Josi and Jack Hillen. All eyes will be upon him during these weeks to see whether or not he's ready for the big leagues, or needs the typical development time in Milwaukee.