Nashville Predators general manager David Poile has announced that defenseman Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the next four to six months in order to recover from off-season surgery. Although there is no definite timetable for his return, Poile is hopeful that 26-year-old will be healthy enough to return in early January.
Ryan Ellis Expected to Miss Four to Six Months
Poile: Ryan Ellis is out for 4-6 months. Doesn’t expect him back until around Jan. 1. #Preds
— Thomas Willis (@TomAWillis) September 7, 2017
This will mark second time in Ellis; NHL career that he will miss a substantial amount of NHL games. The first time occurred during the 2014-2015 season after Ellis missed 24 contests. With that said, since joining the NHL as a full time player to start the 2013-2014 campaign, Ellis has been very reliable. In four full seasons he has missed a total of 40 games including a combined 14 games over the last two campaigns.
This unfortunate news comes about a week after Ryan Ellis was ranked 19th on the NHL’s Top 20 defensemen list after having a career year last season. In 71 games, the right handed blueliner set a career high in points with 38 and in goals. His impressive play even carried out into the Playoffs where he was vital in guiding the Predators to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history, all while battling injuries. In this historic post season run, Ellis notched 13 points, including five goals.
The loss of Ryan Ellis will mean a number of things heading into the 2017-18 season. Most importantly, it means the Predators will have to find a way to replace the grueling 23:57 minutes he averaged a night a season ago. It would be fair to expect that newly acquired Alexei Emelin would fill his role. Emelin is used to playing heavy minutes, averaging north of 21 minutes a game last year. Furthermore, the loss of Ellis means a decrease in offensive production from the Preds backend and leadership. In the end, the Predators will have to make do until their rising star returns.