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OTF Player Report Card: Ryan Ellis

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What grade would you give Ryan Ellis based on his 2015-16 campaign?

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Basics

After being drafted 11th overall in 2009 to the Predators, Ryan Ellis has been a consistent player on the Predators' roster. Ellis has 30 career goals under his belt with the eighth-most shots on goal and managed to score 10 goals this past season. With a CorsiFor percentage of 54.7 percent, Ellis is making up for his height by consistently driving possession in Nashville's favor.

Ryan Ellis Stats espn.go.com

Stats courtesy of espn.go.com

David Poile’s faith in Mattias Ekholm and Ellis allowed the Ryan Johansen/Seth Jones trade to essentially take place. In Jones' absence, Ellis had to step up. He may not get as many opportunities to shine on the Predators roster as skilled defensemen on other teams have, however Ellis has proven himself when offered the opportunity.

On top of playing for the Preds, he contributed to Team Canada's gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Championship. He scored the game winning goal in the semifinal game against Team USA.

Best Moments of the Season?

Just nine seconds after an expiring power play, Ellis received a gorgeous pass from Mike Ribeiro and wired a shot past Anton Khudobin to give Nashville a 2-0 lead midway through the second period and what later turned out to be the game-winning goal.

That wasn’t his only game-winner of the season. On December 28th, Ellis netted Nashville's fourth goal in a 5-3 win against the New York Rangers -- this coming on the power play.

Also, let’s not forget when Ellis sat on the puck to prevent a goal in the opening game of Nashville's first round series against the Anaheim Ducks.

Worst Moment of the Season?

After some scrambling around Pekka Rinne, Ellis took a shot to the head against the Dallas Stars on March 29th. That upper-body injury forced him to miss a handful of games.

Regarding the injury, he told Adam Vingan of The Tennessean "it's whatever the coaches think. I would have loved to play in the last couple games, but it was more of a precaution for long-term things. … But personally, I like to play the game and I like to be involved in it, so I'd love to come back and play. We need to get our game in order anyway."

Trending Up or Down?

He’s proven himself on the ice, however his size may begin to hold him back. As a five-foot-ten defenseman, Ellis has a slight disadvantage. He's never been scared to throw himself on the ice by using his body to block a shot. Paired with Ekholm in the line up, Ellis will continue to have the chance to prove himself.

With the addition of the incredibly skilled P.K. Subban to the Predators, he definitely won’t be the most dominant or talked about defenseman on the roster. Over the past couple seasons, his shot has gotten much better and he's shown vast improvement. With the same is expected for next season, Ellis continues to trend upwards for Nashville.

Final Grade: A

As good of a defenseman that Ellis is, he isn't Nashville's best with as much depth and talent defensively that the Predators have on their roster. He had his best season yet this past year, so his strong shot and doing-whatever-it-takes mentality earn him an A on this report card.

The entire OTF staff will put their thoughts together and voice their opinions on player grades at the conclusion of this series of articles.