Ellis’ offseason knee surgery sidelined him for the 2017 portion of this season, limiting him to 44 games over the course of the regular season.
Once again, Ellis spent a majority of his time with his typical Horsemen lefty linemate Roman Josi this season. He also spent significant minutes with the other left-handed defensman Mattias Ekholm for games where Peter Laviolette felt like throwing the normal lines into the blender.
In 44 games, Ellis totaled 32 points, including 9 goals and 23 assists. That number matches what he managed to put up in 79 games during the 2015-16 season, and is six short of what he did last season in 71 games. Not only did he produce at a very high clip in a much shorter period of time, Ellis’ 23 assists are a single-season career high.
The best part about Ellis putting up so many points in so few games is that it means his upward trend into his prime has continued. In a full 82 game season, Ellis would have been on pace for 60 points.
Unfortunately, Ellis almost completely disappeared during the Preds short-lived playoff run. His playoff numbers were some of the worst in his career, but we’ll get to that later.
There were some good moments during the season for Ryan, but perhaps his best moment came in his second game back. With just about 10 seconds remaining in the 2nd period in Arizona, Ellis took a pass from Hartnell immediately following a Sissons faceoff win and sent it past Raanta to tie the game at 1.
I could point out a specific moment, but the real worst moment for Ryan Ellis was actually 13 different 60 minute moments.
For the fourth time in five career playoff appearances, Ellis went without a goal. He also only tallied five assists, his second worst total in playoffs in which he scored a point.
Perhaps worst of all, however, is his +/- of -4. Both he and Josi were seemingly invisible during the postseason, not only on offense but also defensively. This season is the only time Ellis has finished the postseason with a negative plus/minus, and only the second time in his career, regular season included.
If you think you’re ready to rip off the band-aid and watch Ellis’ playoff miscues, feel free to watch the highlights of any of the Preds losses (or their wins for that matter, he was the opposite of good during this playoff run).
Overall Grade: B+
I struggled to choose between a few different grade for Ellis, before finally settling on a B+. Purely off of his regular season, Ellis deserves an A. But on the flip side, his playoff performance warrants a C, at best. His off-the-ice leadership, along with the fact that he is statistically on an upward trend, is what made me settle on a B+. That and 44 games is a bigger sample size than 13, even if the 13 were more important.