Fear the Beard?
The Predators really need Ryan Ellis for the full season this year. The ugly injury in the Winter Classic forced the Predators to do dig deep on defense, and it didn’t work out in their favor while Ellis was out.
Ellis still managed to be very efficient on the offensive side of things while he did play. He had 38 points in 49 games, posted another strong Corsi rating and remained involved in the power play with nine points.
Where I lose my confidence in Ellis is making the smart decisions defensively as a top-line defenseman alongside Roman Josi. He sometimes gets caught in bad position and puts the team in bad situations.
If Ellis can stay healthy this season then he’ll post solid offensive numbers again and be a main catalyst to keeping the Predators relevant. I’m looking for more power play production from him, but I also don’t think he’s going to erupt into a Norris Trophy type of player.
Season Prediction: 51 games, 10 goals, 23 assists, 33 points