In the last three years, the Nashville Predators have been held to a high expectation and have found themselves very successful during that time, but now Ryan Ellis must fill a hole that P.K. Subban had left open.
A driving force behind the Nashville Predators’ success is the consistent play and success of Ryan Ellis, which is now amplified with the departure of P.K. Subban. With a slightly new look to the defensive core, Ellis will play a major role in the success of the future.
Since receiving regular playing time in 2013-14, Ellis has been the model of consistency that the team depends on.
Statistically, Ellis is in the top 30 when compared to other defenders in the league. The one year that he didn’t hit those numbers was 2017-18 when he came back from his knee surgery where he played in 44 games.
More from Predlines
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Kiefer Sherwood
- Captain Candidates if Nashville Predators Didn’t Have Roman Josi
- The All-Time 25 Games or Less Nashville Predators Lineup
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Cody Glass
- Joakim Kemell Flashes his Offense in Nashville Predators Loss to Tampa
However, if we look at percentages, Ellis is right where he belongs in the top 30 defenders in the NHL.
To be fair, Ellis has looked to have lost some of the spark that he had early in his career, but he is adapting and becoming a better all-around player. Ellis did not score as many goals as he has in previous years.
This may be affected by the overall quality of the team and power play. He has improved in other areas such as passing the puck to create offense instead of shooting the puck himself. In the locker room, it has also been proven by other players word of mouth or social media that he is a proven leader and role model.
The changes the Predators have made have in the offseason have kept the expectations high for the overall team. For Ellis, his expectations are now at an all-time high as he will be looked at as one of the players the Predators need to rely on in multiple areas.
More than likely, the pairing of Josi and Ellis on the top line will remain at the beginning of the year. Peter Laviolette will always have a trick up his sleeve and test the waters with other pairings of players, but the core will remain from the start. With Subban gone Ellis must produce at his same level of production on the ice as he has in the past.
It’s incredible that in the last three years, the Predators have had four top 30 defenders when looking at basic statistics and percentages. Not many teams can easily say they have that high caliber coming from their top four. The Predators are subtracting one member from that lethal four in P.K. Subban. Will losing Subban be a factor?
Enter Dante Fabbro, the next man up who has the potential to slip into that same role and play at that same level.
Getting Fabbro acclimated to the NHL level will be important so then the Predators can see who he pairs up with the best for the team to succeed overall.
We could be in for a treat and could get to see Ellis play with Fabbro from time to time. Their speed and abilities could light up goalies for years to come.
With the addition of Dan Lambert to inject some energy into the power play, getting Ellis back to higher produced numbers on special teams will be key for this next year.
It allows the team to get on the board early and allows the Predators to play their game. On the opposite end, Ellis plays smart and is in the right position to gain possession of the puck often. If Ellis can keep that same level of production or better, he would be an essential factor in-game outcomes.
Ellis should be held to a higher point total expectation this year. The expectations should be about the 50-point mark. He can still score goals with the best and has evolved his game to also become a great set up man for other players.
He should be able to achieve this goal because of new additions to the team to create more offense and a new assistant coach to create offensive chances.
The overall expectation that the Predators will have on Ellis is going to be high or higher than in previous years. Ellis will need to continue to post the numbers he has produced the last 3 years or better for this team to succeed.
Ellis will be turning 29 this year putting him still in the middle of his golden years to be effective all around for the team.
Overall, Ellis is a top player on the Preds and a crucial piece for the Nashville Predators success next year. The start of the year and home opener for the Predators is on October 3rd. We anticipate Ellis to be ready to go and to push the team to the level we know they can dominate at.