On July 17th, it was announced that Nashville Predators associate captain Ryan Ellis had been traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for young defender Philippe Myers and forward Nolan Patrick; Patrick was then flipped to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Cody Glass.
Ellis has been a cornerstone of the Predators' blue line since the mid-2010s. His calm and collected demeanor on the same pair as Roman Josi—one of the league’s best play-driving defenders—has served as the perfect one-two punch. Ellis is an excellent defender in his own zone and thinks the game out at an extremely high level. He’s signed through 2026-27 with a $6.25 million cap hit.
Ellis had a down year in 2020-21, but was one of the best defenders in the entire NHL in 2019-20. He absolutely lit it up when he came back from the head injury received from Corey Perry in the 2020 Winter Classic. From 2018-21 he’s been the twentieth-best player and third-best defender in goals above replacement.
It’s tough to see a player like Ellis go after all of his years with the franchise. He was the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and working his way up through the ranks to become a key part of the organization. It’s almost hard to believe. He was a fan favorite player to most, and his work in Nashville should be appreciated by all.
As for the return, Philippe Myers is a big defender with plenty of puck skills, who went undrafted. He has the reach, and he has the skating ability to become a solid top-four defender. Considering how good the development team is with defenders, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he ends up playing some top-pair minutes in the future. Myers is signed through 2022-23 at a $2.55 million average annual value (AAV). At just 24 years old, there is a lot to like about him.
Cody Glass has had a rough go of it with the Golden Knights. He has bounced around from the NHL to the minors since being drafted, but has shown signs of being a potential top-six player. He scored 10 points in 14 games in 2020-21 with the Knights’ AHL team, the Henderson Silver Knights. He scored over a point per game with the Portland Winterhawks in both 2017-18 and 2018-19, with his most notable season being 2017-18, where he scored 102 points in 64 games. Glass was touted as a player with fairly strong two-way capabilities who can handle the puck well in tight spaces and open up lanes for his teammates. His skating is above average, but his ability to control the rush is one of his biggest strengths. His deceptive mentality and smooth stick-handling make him an offensive force to be reckoned with.
It’s hard to project how he will perform with the NHL team, considering he has had his struggles, but if he’s put in the right situation with the lineup he could very well be a solid contributor.
The whole deal is strange but understandable. Glass doesn’t have to be protected under the expansion rules, and exchanging Ellis for Myers allows a young player like David Farrance to compete for a spot on the blue line. Salary has also been shed, whether it be for a larger move or more flexibility with the flat cap for the next five years. It’s a blockbuster move for both the Flyers and Predators for a multitude of reasons, but it’s still hard to think that Nashville came out on top.