#8 Ryan Ellis – The Hockey Spy’s 2009 NHL Entry Draft Rankings

Christopher Ralph is a hockey writer with a focus on prospects and the entry draft, as well as the Leafs’ correspondent here at THW.

“Full Potential” Prospect Profile:Ryan Ellis = The Hockey Spy X-Factor Draft Selection

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8. Ryan Ellis – Freelton, ONT – 5’9″ – 183 lbs – OHL – Windsor – D

One-Timer: The PP QB magician, Ellis is an offensive dynamo from the blueline! Size will also be the biggest issue with Ryan, but having watched him closely at this year’s WJC it is hard to fathom he won’t excel at the next level. His hockey sense and smarts are off the chart, and not surprisingly he was the OHL’s scholastic player of the year last year. He was also OHL defenseman of the year and was a member of the Memorial Cup winning Windsor Spitfires this year. Ellis registered an astonishing 89 points in just 57 regular season games to go with 31 points in 20 playoff games. My feeling is at worst, if he is in fact too small to play on the blueline in the big leagues, convert him to forward! It likely won’t be necessary, but in all honesty I’d foresee an extremely smooth transition. He’s one of my favorites in the draft and if he does fall outside the top 10, as most other rankings suggest, the team that selects him will be getting an absolute gift. Even with the likes of Jared Cowen, Dmitri Kulikov and David Rundblad on the board, I’d swing for the fences and grab Ellis.

NHL Player(s) Comparison: Brian Rafalski, Dan Boyle, Brian Campbell

Bio/Interview Links:



Scouting Combine Performance:

  • Gare Joyce had an interesting take on Ellis registering the highest body fat percentage. “It reminds me of an anecdote about Ray Bourque. At the training camp of the Canadian team prior to one of the Canada Cup tournaments, the guys in the white lab jackets got out the calipers to check Bourque’s body fat. It was a remarkable 20 percent, about double the next highest reading on the team. Not that he was out of shape — he was down close to his regular-season playing weight. And not like it ever affected his game.” Ryan also scored “BA” (below average) for upper and lower body physical development. Joyce also noted “… Ryan Ellis did not do any heavy lifting or grunting at the combine due to injuries carrying over from the Memorial Cup.”

International Tournaments: 17 years old at the time, Ellis was brought along as a PP specialist for Team Canada at the WJC-U20 and performed admirably in the role, registering 7 points and 6 games.

ETA = 2 to 4 years

Risk-Reward Analysis: Risk = 2/5   Reward = 5/5

NHL Potential: Top 2 blueliner, PP specialist

Fantasy Hockey Potential: Offensive = 9.5/10   Defensive = 7/10

Other Rankings:

  • ISS: 13
  • CSB: 16-NA
  • TSN: 13
  • THN: 17

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3 thoughts on “#8 Ryan Ellis – The Hockey Spy’s 2009 NHL Entry Draft Rankings”

  1. MattN: Definitely respect your opinion and a valid argument. I might look like an idiot in 3 to 4 yrs time. I still would counterpoint that Ellis has a special talent with outstanding hockey intelligence and will be more than a sum of his parts.

    I mentioned as well that Kulikov, Cowen and even Rundblad could quite validly be taken ahead of him, but I’ll stick to my guns at this point and go with the 18 yo Ellis who still has time and room to grow.

  2. I have respect for this kids offensive performance, but I just don’t see transferable skills to the NHL.

    Show me a comparable. Name another diminutive defenceman in the NHL who is an average skater and doesn’t have a strong core.

    Kris Russel? M.A Bergeron? Brian Rafalski? None of these guys are what I would call number one defencemen.

    Maybe Ellis breaks the mold and goes on to have a great career, but I wouldn’t take him over Kulikov or OEL, much less Jared Cowen.

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