Ryan Ellis, D, 2009, #11 Pick in the First Round
After winning almost every junior award imaginable, Ryan Ellis was ranked 16th in the draft because of his size and was taken at #11 by the Nashville Predators. After joining the Preds in training camp the next two seasons, he was sent back to the Windsor Spitfires in juniors. His final season he scored 101 points in only 58 games.
With plenty of good defensemen in Nashville, Ellis bounced between the Preds and Milwaukee for two more years. He is an offensive defenseman but plays his own zone too. He can move the puck up the ice and quarterback the Power Play.
He and Mattias Ekholm make a great second pairing and play well with each other. In his first full year as a Nashville Predator in 2012-13, Ellis went 6G-21A-27Pts in 80 games. He has improved those numbers every season and had his best season this year with 10 goals and 35 pts and a Plus +13 Plus/Minus.
He plays bigger than he is. He is one of the young core talents that this team is being built around. He could be near the top of this list before he is done.
Next: #3, The Original Predator