Ryan Ellis is going to have a busy upcoming hockey season.
The Freelton native, who has played for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL for the past couple of seasons, was chosen in June of 2009 as the Nashville Predators’ number one, 11 th overall draft pick.
Born in January of 1991, the right-shooting defenseman will also in Saskatoon in the summer of 2009, trying out for the Team Canada National Junior Team Development squad for the January 2010 World Juniors.
Ellis, considered small in stature by some at 5-foot-10, but has been a standout with the Spitfires and the Team Canada squad that won the gold in Ottawa.
“It was always a battle,” Ellis noted about his size in an interview. “I was one of the smallest guys growing up and I was hearing it all the time. So everyone pegged you as an average player and you knew you were better than that.”
Ellis added that his parents Jim and Mary Lou continued to believe in him, giving him the confidence he needed.
Team Canada Juniors coach Pat Quinn was impressed with the play of Ellis, and eyebrows were raised when Quinn kept the defenseman in the game rather that a 13 th forward for the series, noting the young player’s maturity.
“At his age he has a tremendous confidence around the puck,” noted Quinn at the time. “I don’t know how that happens, but success does bring it on.”
Known as a specialist in the art of power-plays, Ellis has played hockey in Flamborough, Halton, Mississauga, and Cambridge.
In the 2008-09 season, Ellis enjoyed three championships; a gold medal with the Canadian National Junior Team, the 2009 Memorial Cup, and the OHL championship.
Ellis also won the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the OHL’s top defenseman last season. In the 57 games he played with the Spitfires for the season, he led all defensemen in the league with 22 goals, 67 assists, and 89 points, which was also good enough for seventh overall in the league.
Watch for updates on the career of this promising young star.