2018-19 Team: Rimouski Océanic
Date of Birth: October 5, 2000
Place of Birth: Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 183 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 8th (Among NA goaltenders)
- Future Considerations: 71st
- The Hockey Writers: 94th
- TSN’s Craig’s List: 60th
Colten Ellis is the top goaltender available in the 2019 NHL Draft from the QMJHL. He has two seasons in the “Q” under his belt, where he’s already played 100 regular season games and 19 playoff games. An early trade in his career from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles to the Rimouski Océanic may have been the best thing for the young prospect.
Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2019 Edition
In the 2018-19 season, Ellis had the third-best goals against average (GAA) in the league at 2.47 (among goalies with 40 or more games played). Based on the same minimum game count, he had the fifth-best save percentage (SV%) with a .910. He also had three shutouts on the season. In his 46 games, he had a 27-15-2 record, helping his team to the playoffs where they had a solid run, going 8-1 through the first two series before getting swept by the eventual champion, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
His athleticism allows him to make saves that other goaltenders can’t make, simply based on the flexibility that he possesses. He has quick lateral movements, but there are times where he loses track of the puck and over-commits. Both of those are aspects that can be improved upon as he continues to develop.
He does have quick reflexes though, which can help to overshadow his shortcomings. He’s able to reset quickly, largely due to his athletic skill. For teams looking to bolster their goaltending depth and willing to help develop the young player, Ellis is a solid option. There’s definitely a belief in his ability already, as he attended Team Canada’s development camp looking ahead to the 2020 World Juniors. He should get a chance to shine in the tournament if he is selected.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Colten Ellis – NHL Draft Projection
Ellis may be the top draft-eligible goalie from the QMJHL, but this year has a fairly deep pool of goaltenders. He might fall just outside of the top-10 goalies taken, which will likely see him taken late in the sixth round or early in the seventh.
“Ellis was a very solid goalie in the QMJHL for the past two seasons and was an important part of Rimouski’s long playoff run. He’s one of the most athletic goalies available for this year’s draft. He can get to pucks most goalies can’t. He has powerful legs and his push offs let him get across the crease very quickly. He anticipates plays fine, but I find there is a lot of extra movement in his game. While Ellis moves very quickly, it always feels like he’s moving too much and not tracking pucks as well as he could. You add in the fact he’s just under 6-foot-1 and there’s some cause for concern on his NHL projection. The team that is picking him is picking the athlete with the knowledge there’s stuff to work on.” – Corey Pronman, The Athletic (from, “Pronman’s 2019 NHL Draft Board: Top goalie prospects” – The Athletic – May 23, 2019).
“Technically sound goalie who plays calm and collected and excellent flexibility. Smooth, handles his movements up and down and sideways with control. Absorbs shots, and re-sets quickly. Rebound control and redirection is a work in progress. Thrives on being the man in big games. His behind the puck handling is an area he will work to improve on.” – Bill Placzek, The Draft Site
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Tracking the puck
- Rebound control
Ellis’ size and the aspects of his game that are under construction may be a red flag for some teams who will look to other options in the draft. For the team that takes a gamble on him, he shows the potential to crack the NHL. At this point though, becoming a starter might be a stretch. Of course, there is a great deal of raw talent and if he improves where he needs to, being a number one isn’t out of the question.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Goaltending – 6/10
What bodes well for Ellis is that he seems to have success where ever he goes. He’s been on the Rookie All-Star Team in the NSMBHL, NSMMHL and the QMJHL. In his second season in the NSMBHL, he was the Top Goaltender and on the First-Team All-Star team. His second season in the NSMMHL saw him as a league champion, Second-Team All-Star and he had the best GAA (2.05) and SV% (.920%). In his rookie season in the QMJHL, he was also a Second-Team All-Star and was honoured as the Defensive Rookie of the Year (Raymond Lagacé Trophy).
Starting out as an Ottawa Senators contributor for The Hockey Writers, Josh is now an editor and at-large contributor, focusing on prospects, the NHL Draft, hockey history, and breaking news stories.