The NHL All-Star Skills Competition is scheduled for this evening, and though Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon have both pulled out due to illness and injury there are still an incredible amount of talented players taking part. Most notable however may be the final entrant in the fastest skater competition: Kendall Coyne. A member of the US Women’s National Team, Coyne will take MacKinnon’s place after the Colorado Avalanche forward suffered a foot injury this week. The Olympic gold medalist is known for her speed and posted a 14.226 yesterday during event testing according to Emily Kaplan of ESPN. Though that wouldn’t have been enough to dethrone Connor McDavid last year, it would have put her ahead of Zach Werenski, Noah Hanifin and Josh Bailey in the competition. We’ll see what Coyne can do tonight, along with the rest of the competitors:
The NHL has announced the four rosters for the 2019 All-Star Game today, scheduled to be held on January 26th in San Jose. Earlier today, Alex Ovechkin, who was elected captain of Metropolitan Division squad, told the league that he wouldn’t be attending and will accept the punishment of missing one game either before or after the break. Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews will represent the Pacific, Central and Atlantic respectively, as the other captains. A replacement Metropolitan captain for Ovechkin has yet to be named.
The full rosters are as follows:
*Denotes team captain
One final skater spot on each roster has yet to be announced, as it will be determined by the “Last Man In” fan ballot, a concept borrowed from Major League Baseball. The format of the current All-Star Game, which requires one representative from each team on these smaller 3-on-tournament rosters, was bound to cause some confusion with the initial selections. Seven top-twenty scorers were not selected – Mitch Marner, Brayden Point, Leon Draisaitl, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, Phil Kessel, and Gabriel Landeskog – and several will inevitably remain out of All-Star participation even after the fan ballot additions. Morgan Rielly, the league’s top-scoring defenseman, and Mark Giordano, enjoying an elite season on both sides of the puck, are two surprising omissions on the blue line. Several of the league’s top goalies are also going to miss out, ineligible for the fan ballot, including Ben Bishop, Frederik Andersen, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. The “Last Man In” will be an intriguing new addition to the All-Star process, with nominees to be named shortly, but more than a few notable names will be left out regardless. Meanwhile, the health of players like Price and Chabot for Team Atlantic and Hall for Team Metropolitan will bear watching, as those players may opt to skip the All-Star festivities, opening up more players to selection.
As the holiday season approaches, PHR will take a look at what teams are thankful for as the season heads past the one-quarter mark. There also might be a few things your team would like down the road. Let’s take a look at what’s gone well in the early going and what could improve as the season rolls on for the Ottawa Senators. Click here for the other articles in this series.
What are the Senators most thankful for?
Not being dead last. Most experts as well as fans had the Senators picked as the worst team in the league and with all the offseason turmoil coming from issues surrounding Erik Karlsson as well as locker room issues, the team was being viewed as a laughing stock. Throw in the fact that the team traded away their first-round pick to Colorado in the Matt Duchene trade and things were looking even worse. While the team isn’t in the playoff hunt, the Senators have been respectable on the ice and considering that they have opted to rebuild their team, 14-16-4 record, which could be a lot worse.
Who are the Senators most thankful for?
After almost an entire year of Erik Karlsson rumors, the team finally unloaded their superstar defenseman in a deal with San Jose. Many felt that loss would destroy the team, but second-year defenseman Thomas Chabot has been nothing, if not remarkable. The 21-year-old has already surpassed his offensive totals from last year when he posted 25 points in 63 games. This year, Chabot has already reached 35 points in 34 games and is tied for first in the NHL in points along with Toronto’s Morgan Rielly and Washington’s John Carlson.
This development has made the transition away from Karlsson, who hasn’t taken off yet in San Jose, much easier for Ottawa fans as Chabot is starting to just scratch the surface to his skills in Ottawa. For a young team with very few veteran players, to have a defenseman averaging a point a game is a big deal.
What would the Senators be even more thankful for?
The team needs even more offense and while many of their young players have had some success already, the Senators are a team loaded in young talent. If the team could get some of those players to take that next step, the team would be far better off. The team have gotten some success from both Brady Tkuchuk and Colin White as both players have nine goals already. Surprise defenseman Max Lajoie is another rookie who has already posted six goals and 12 points. However, the team needs others to step up, including Drake Batherson who has seven points in 16 games so far. However, the team needs some of the top prospects in Belleville to take that next step at some point as well, including players like Rudolfs Balcers, Filip Chlapik and Logan Brown.
What should be on the Senators Holiday Wish List?
More than anything, the Senators need some clarity with some of their veteran players. The team has a number of pending unrestricted free agents in Duchene, Mark Stone and to a lesser extent Ryan Dzingel, and the last thing this franchise needs is for those players to walk away in free agency and leave the team with nothing. Unfortunately, no players have given a solid indication that they intend to return and if the team can’t come to terms on an extension with any of them before the trade deadline, they need to move them. Both Duchene and Stone have been impressive this year, so the team should get significant returns for those two if they are forced to trade them, but the team has to hope they can sign one of these players and begin to build this franchise up from there. Another firesale isn’t going to make the franchise look any better.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Washington Capitals are pressed right up against the salary cap this season, and because of this have been forced to use long-term injured reserve once again. Brooks Orpik has been placed on LTIR, meaning the veteran defenseman will not be able to play for at least another six games as he works he way back from a lower-body injury. The team is also missing John Carlson from practice today with a lower-body injury, meaning they have recalled Jonas Siegenthaler and Aaron Ness from the minor leagues to fill in. According to CapFriendly’s calculations, the team is now exceeding the upper salary cap ceiling by using the flexibility created by LTIR.
Orpik, 38, went through an interesting series of transactions this summer that started when he was included in a trade to the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche quickly explained that they had only taken his contract on in order to keep the price of goaltender Philipp Grubauer low, and tried to trade Orpik to someone who would actually use him. When they couldn’t find a taker, Colorado bought out the remainder of Orpik’s contract and allowed him to seek out a new deal on the open market. That deal came back with the Capitals, for the low price of $1MM plus some performance bonuses. That was enough, given he is still earning $1.5MM from the Avalanche this year and next.
Though he was much less expensive this time around, the Capitals haven’t been pushing Orpik to the press box as a veteran extra. Instead, he’s played in ten games already this season and has recorded two points. That even included a goal, his first regular season tally since the 2015-16 season. Even though his minutes have been reduced, Orpik is still a legitimate piece of the Washington blue line and will be needed at other times this season. For now though, he’ll have to wait on the sideline and recover while the team inserts young Siegenthaler into the lineup.
Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny is on the mend. Kempny has yet to play this season due to a concussion – one he doesn’t even remember suffering – after ending up on the receiving end of a high hit from the St. Louis Blues’ Robert Bortuzzo. Bortuzzo was suspended for the Blues’ opening night match-up, but is already back in action for St. Louis. Kempny hopes to follow suit, telling NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti that he hopes to make his season debut on Wednesday. Kempny practice in full today and was feeling good, but admits the final call will come from head coach Todd Reirden. The Capitals have fared fine without Kempny, winning in blowout fashion against the Boston Bruins before falling in overtime to the rival Pittsburgh Penguins, but Kempny would be a welcome addition back to the Washington lineup. The 2017-18 trade deadline acquisition found instant chemistry on the team’s top pair with John Carlson and brings high expectations into the new season.
- The Bruins bounced back well from their beating at the hands of the Capitals on Wednesday, shutting out the Buffalo Sabres the next night with a rearranged forward lineup. However, WEEI’s Matt Kalman reports that the team is still not content with the play of Sean Kuraly as the third line center. The Bruins gave youngsters Jack Studnicka, Trent Frederic, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – all recent high draft picks – the chance to win that job in training camp, but none could seize the opportunity. Kuraly began the year in the top nine by default, but has underwhelmed playing with both Ryan Donato and David Backes and Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork. As a result, Kalman states that the team is prepared to move Backes back to center, a position he has played infrequently since arriving in Boston two years ago, but almost exclusively played during his years in St. Louis. Kalman spoke to head coach Bruce Cassidy, who seemed optimistic about transitioning Backes back down the middle and his fit with Heinen and Bjork. It may not be a long-term solution, but should improve the contributions of the third line while the team continues to evaluate their options. The move would presumably return Kuraly back to the fourth line, where he and Noel Acciari starred last season and should again find success lining up with new additions Chris Wagner and Joakim Nordstrom.
- New Jersey Devils prospect goaltender Akira Schmid has reportedly had enough of North American junior hockey already, early on in the new campaign. Schmid, a fifth round pick in June, had joined the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes this year after developing in his native Switzerland. However, after failing to win the starter’s job and his first, disastrous appearance – Schmid allowed seven goals on 27 shots – he appears to be ready to move on. European news source “Sonntagsblick” reports that Schmid is set to return to the SCL Tigers of the NLA in Switzerland, the program in which he developed. Schmid is likely to make most of his appearances with Langnau, the team’s top junior program. The question now, after such a rough experience in North America, is how long it takes Schmid to return. The Devils hope that this setback doesn’t stunt the growth of their promising goalie prospect.
The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan may have gotten more than she bargained for when talking to Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan today. The Stanley Cup-winning executive let slip some internal team building plans, a rarity in the tight-lipped NHL. MacLellan acknowledged that the Capitals currently have a surplus of defensive prospects, but took it even further, stating that he hopes to trade some away in exchange for forward prospects.
The first part of MacLellan’s statement is rather obvious and why Khurshudyan though to ask about his plans. The Capitals had struggled defensively for many years before putting together a solid unit en route to championship last season. Although it involved trading and later re-signing Brooks Orpik, the team was surprisingly able to keep the group together this year and moving forward, with seven of the nine defensemen who suited up in 2017-18 – most importantly the top six from the Cup run – returning. The top four of John Carlson, Michal Kempny, Matt Niskanen, and Dmitry Orlov are all signed through at least three more years, while Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey – both under 25 – are restricted free agents at the end of their current contracts. There isn’t much long-term opportunity for defensemen in the Capitals system, yet they are well-stocked in pro-caliber prospects. 2015 second-rounder Jonas Siegenthaler, 2016 first-rounder Lucas Johansen, and promising righty Connor Hobbs would all be pushing for NHL play time on a majority of teams across the league. The team also used first- and second-round picks on blue liners in June, selecting Alexander Alexeyev and Martin Fehervary respectively. While it doesn’t hurt to have a redundancy of talent, it does seem as though the Capitals have too many mouths to feed on defense over the next five years or so.
As such, MacLellan revealed that he would ideally trade some of those players for forward prospects of a similar caliber. Seeing as Johansen, Alexeyev, and Fehervary are recent high picks with room to grow, Siegenthaler and Hobbs would likely be the leading candidates to be dealt away, with an even an off-chance that one of Djoos or Bowey are dealt. Forwards of equal quality to that foursome would be far more valuable to Washington, who has ample opportunity up front moving forward but far fewer players to compete. Outside of Jakub Vrana, who Khurshudyan calls the Capitals’ “last high-end forward prospect”, and Andre Burakovsky, the depth of talent among young forwards in the system is not overwhelming. Many could have good careers as bottom-six forwards, including 2018 second- and third-round picks Kody Clark and Riley Sutter, but none seem to have much in the way of great top-six upside. The Capitals also don’t plan to be in a draft position next year to land a forward with elite scoring potential. So, they’re left to trade from an area of strength in the organization to fill an area of weakness. At least that is MacLellan’s plan. The fact that it is now public knowledge could help or hinder his attempts to make it happen.
Although the injuries have not been reported as anything major, fans of the Arizona Coyotes can’t help but feel nervous that two players expected to be major additions to the team’s forward corps this season – trade acquisition Alex Galchenyuk and top prospect Dylan Strome – are currently sidelined with injuries. The Athletic’s Craig Morgan reports that Galchenyuk is currently out with a lower-body injury and has yet to be evaluated and cleared by the medical staff, per head coach Rick Tocchet. Tocchet did not relay when and how the injury occurred and the Coyotes will have to wait for him to be examined to determine the severity and recovery time. Galchenyuk has been a very durable player to this point in his six-year career, but did struggle to return from a knee injury in 2016-17, which ended up costing him 21 games over two stints on the injured reserve. An extended absence to begin his tenure in Arizona would be an unfortunate start for Galchenyuk, who seemed primed to embrace his change of scenery. As for Strome, Morgan writes that he is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. One of the knocks on Strome, the third overall pick in 2015, is that he has struggled to fill out his 6’3″ frame. The lanky forward can be pushed around – and thus susceptible to injury – far too often for a player of his stature. Arizona needs Strome to get healthy and toughen up if he wants to be an impact player this season.
- The quantity, not quality, of injuries for the St. Louis Blues is starting to become a concern. With starting goaltender Jake Allen still not ready for game action due to back spasms and Nikita Soshnikov out indefinitely with a concussion, the team also has three key forwards on the sidelines with minor injuries. The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford updated the statuses of David Perron, Tyler Bozak, and Robby Fabbri today. Fabbri’s injury history is well-documented; the undersized winger has had back luck with his knees, missing the final 30 regular season games and all 11 postseason games of the 2016-17 season, only to tear his ACL last preseason and miss the entire 2017-18 season. While Fabbri’s knees seem to be back at full strength, his current injuries could be related to getting back to a game level of skating. Rutherford states that Fabbri did not practice today due to a sore back and hip flexor. Fortunately, these are conditions that the young forward should be able to bounce back from very soon. Meanwhile, veteran free agent additions Perron and Bozak also missed practice today and were pulled from tonight’s preseason roster with matching groin injuries. The experienced forwards, who added significant depth for St. Louis with their signings this summer, have no previous lower-body injury history and should hopefully be back on the ice soon.
- The Capitals have just three players who have yet to suit up for a preseason game so far: defenseman John Carlson, center Lars Eller, and winger Devante Smith-Pelly. While Carlson and Eller had documented lower-body injuries and are simply being eased back into game action, NBC Sports Washington’s J.J. Regan points out that Smith-Pelly’s absence has been more curious. In speaking with new head coach Todd Reirden, Regan discovered that Smith-Pelly’s conditioning has been an issue and he has been working toward getting back in game shape. Reirden states that the physical forward is not dealing with any injuries, but simply not yet at a level where he would benefit from playing. A short and celebratory summer likely has Smith-Pelly slightly out of shape and fatigued, but it is not an issue that seems likely to impact the regular season and certainly not a Jake Dotchin-type scenario.
- Injury-prone Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian is taking it easy this preseason. Beat writer Bill Hoppe says that the veteran blue liner is being eased into camp to ensure that he is fully healthy for the start of the regular season. Bogosian has yet to skate in a preseason game and may not see much exhibition action at all. While Bogosian has a lengthy injury history that features IR stints for knees, ribs, groins, wrists, and more, it was his hip that cost Bogosian all but 18 games last year. He missed the final 39 contests after undergoing hip surgery in January. With the Sabres already fighting the injury bug, it is important that Bogosian be given the time he needs to start the season off on the right foot. Hoppe adds that while Conor Sheary appears ready to re-join the team next week, his former Pittsburgh Penguins teammate, defenseman Matt Hunwick will not. Hunwick will not be ready for the start of the regular season due to a neck injury, making Bogosian’s availability all that more important.
Navigating the Salary Cap is probably one of the more important tasks for any general manager to have. Teams that can avert total cap chaos by walking the tightrope of inking players to deals that match their value (or compensate for future value without breaking the bank) remain successful. Those that don’t see struggles and front office changes.
PHR will look at every NHL team and give a thorough look at their cap situation heading into the 2018-19 season. This will focus more on those players who are integral parts of the roster versus those who may find themselves shuttling between the AHL and NHL. All cap figures are courtesy of CapFriendly.
Current Cap Hit: $78,400,961 (under the $79.5MM Upper Limit)
F Jakub Vrana (One year remaining, $863K)
With the team trying to make a Stanley Cup run over the past few years and finally capturing one, youth is in rare supply in Washington as the team has made it clear that it prefers to play its veterans rather than risk mistakes from youngsters. The only player who is still on an entry-level deal is Vrana, who has had a turbulent career so far with the Capitals. After spending a couple of years in the AHL, he finally got a full season with Washington this year, but the former first-round pick was never able to secure a full-time role in the team’s top six as he bounced around on different lines all season. He finished the year with 13 goals and 27 points, but put up another three goals and eight points in the playoffs. He has a chance to take on a full-time role on the team’s second line this season and hopes for a breakout season.
One Year Remaining, Non Entry-Level
F Andre Burakovsky ($3MM, RFA)
F Brett Connolly ($1.5MM, UFA)
D Brooks Orpik ($1MM, UFA)
F Devante Smith-Pelly ($1MM, UFA)
D Christian Djoos ($650K, RFA)
F Nic Dowd ($650K, UFA)
F Chandler Stephenson ($650K, RFA)
F Nathan Walker ($650K, RFA)
G Pheonix Copley ($650K, UFA)
The Capitals have only a few significant free agents for next season as many of their deals are league-minimum contracts, which is necessary considering the amount of money the team has expended in keeping their roster together. Perhaps the biggest name on their free agent list will be Burakovsky, who many thought might have a breakout season with a bigger role last year. However, Burakovsky’s numbers decreased as his season was plagued with injuries. His 12 goals and 25 points in 56 games was the worst since his rookie season. However, he did post six points in 13 playoff games. If he can stay healthy, the 23-year-old could provide the team with more offense.
Due to the Stanley Cup win, the team was able to find a way to bring back several key role players on cheaper deals. The team assumed they would lose Smith-Pelly to free agency, but the 26-year-old opted to return for another playoff run, while long-time Capital Orpik was traded away, waived and opted to return for another year.
Two Years Remaining
The team does have to worry about Backstrom in two years. The team’s No. 2 center is still posting excellent numbers as he tallied 21 goals and 70 points last season, the fifth straight season he’s reached at least 70 points. However, the team will have a tough decision to eventually make as the veteran will be 32 when he gets awarded a new contract, which can get into a dangerous area when players hit their early 30’s.
Holtby will be another interesting case. After temporarily losing his starting job to Philipp Grubauer for a few weeks near the end of the season due to poor play (2.99 GAA, .907 save percentage), Holtby snapped out of it and posted dominant numbers throughout the playoffs (2.16 GAA, .922 save percentage) showing he still has what it takes to be a top-of-the-line goaltender. While the 28-year-old should still be in his prime in two years, the team also has top goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov arriving in North America this season. He’ll likely start the season in the AHL, but he will likely be ready to take the reigns once Holtby’s deal expires.
Three Or More Years
F Alex Ovechkin ($9.54MM through 2020-21)
D John Carlson ($8MM through 2025-26)
F Evgeny Kuznetsov ($7.8MM through 2024-25)
F T.J. Oshie ($5.75MM through 2024-25)
D Matt Niskanen ($5.75MM through 2020-21)
F Tom Wilson ($5.17MM through 2023-24)
D Dmitry Orlov ($5.1MM through 2022-23)
F Lars Eller ($3.5MM through 2022-23)
D Michal Kempny ($2.5MM through 2021-22)
The team decided more than a year ago that they were going for it, which worked out perfectly last season. The team has done a fantastic job locking up its core, although many of the pricetags are quite generous, which could come to hurt them. However, now that the team has won the Stanley Cup, the team is going all out to win another as the team has locked up all of their critical free agents this year, signing Carlson as a long-term answer as their top defender as well as locking in Wilson. That gives them a solid core for the next many years. That should give them two or three years to attempt to capture another title. However, eventually this team will be weighed down by these contracts, much like the Chicago Blackhawks, but Washington is focused on the future.
The team may be forced into handing out another long-term extension to Ovechkin in three years, depending on how the 32-year-old fares in three years, but the deal would unlikely be more than he is already being paid.
Still To Sign
Best Value: Holtby
Worst Value: Wilson
The Capitals are quite used to dealing with little to no cap space and will have to do that again for a number of years to come. However, the team has managed to keep not just the core of their team together, but have also managed to bring back multiple role players at bargain prices to keep this team at a Stanley Cup level. With new deals to players like Carlson and Wilson, should challenge for a few more years, but age and those long-term deals will eventually hold the franchise after that. However, the team has already proven that their tactics are worth it after winning it all last season.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
If it ain’t broke. Don’t fix it. At least that seems to be what the Washington Capitals believe. After capturing the Stanley Cup last season, the team completed one of its final moves when it locked up forward Tom Wilson to a six-year, $31-year deal. And suddenly, the team miraculously has managed to bring back almost its entire roster for next season, according to J.J. Regan of Yahoo Sports.
While all teams are forced to shake up their roster and allow for the losses of free agents after each season, the Capitals are an unusual situation, considering the number of potential free agents as well as how tight their salary cap has been over the past two years. It wasn’t going to get any better, yet still, the team still was able to re-sign stud defenseman John Carlson (eight years, $64MM) as well as find a creative way to trade defenseman Brooks Orpik to Colorado and then bring him back after the Avalanche waived him. They also managed to hold onto trade deadline acquisition Michal Kempny (four years, $10MM).
Sure, the team did suffer a couple of losses, including the loss of fourth-line center Jay Beagle and backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer. However, the team has people ready to step into those positions, including prospect Travis Boyd, free agent acquisition Nic Dowd as well as place long-time minor leaguer Pheonix Copley to fill in for a year, while the team waits for superstar prospect Ilya Samsonov to develop in the AHL for a year.
- Andrew Gross of Newsday wonders whether the New York Islanders would consider moving center Brock Nelson for a defenseman, now that the 26-year-old has agreed to a one-year, $4.25MM deal with the team. With quite a bit of youth in the wings and the team in desperate need for blueline help and the fact that Nelson could walk away from the team as an unrestricted free agent next season, a trade might make a lot of sense. Nelson has been quite productive for New York, posting at least 19 goals in his last four seasons.
- The Athletic’s Rick Carpinello (subscription required) analyzes and grades the season of New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, who took over the team’s No. 1 center position last season after the team traded away Derek Stepan. Many of the same questions about Stepan not being a No. 1 center now have fallen to Zibanejad. Yet, the 25-year-old definitely took his game up a notch, posting a career-high 27 goals in 72 games, but once again suffered an injury that interrupted his season. It marks the second straight year that Zibanejad has struggled with injuries, which is a concern and the center still must work on his consistency, including the fact that he posted no goals and one assist in the final seven games.
- Dave Isaac of the Cherry Hill Courier Post writes that if the Philadelphia Flyers are impressed by the play of 6-foot-5 prospect Philippe Myers in training camp this year, that could impact the role of defenseman Radko Gudas, who could then be on his way out as Myers physicality could replace Gudas role as well as the fact that Myers and Travis Sanheim were a great pair when they were together with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL.
With top defensemen getting locked up to big, long-term deals everywhere, one only has to look around the league to see who is next. The most obvious target would be Nashville’s Ryan Ellis, who will be wrapping up the final year of his five-year, $12.5MM deal. Ellis, who is one of the core of Nashville’s talented back end, is one of the most underpaid blueliners in the league at $2.5MM AAV, should be in line for a great extension. After all, many of his defensive teammates are already well-paid, including P.K. Subban ($9MM for four more years), Roman Josi ($4MM for two more years), and Mattias Ekholm ($3.75MM for four more years).
Nashville claims that locking up the 27 year old is the team’s top priority this offseason. Yet little has happened. However, how much is he worth, asks Adam Vingan of the Tennessean? While two of the most significant extensions went to Los Angeles’ Kings Drew Doughty (eight years, $11MM AAV) and Arizona Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson (eight years, $8.25MM AAV), Ellis likely doesn’t fit into that category. Therefore, Vingan writes that Nashville must compare Ellis’ play with several other tiers of defenseman that have recently signed new deals. The most likely comparables for Ellis will come down to the recent contracts signed by Washington Capitals’ John Carlson (eight years, $8MM AAV) and Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ryan McDonagh (eight years, $6.75MM AAV). However is he as good as those two?
The next tier would be contracts handed out a few years ago that could compare, such as Pittsburgh Penguins’ Kris Letang (eight years, $7.25MM AAV), Erik Johnson (seven years, $6MM AAV) and Anaheim Ducks’ Cam Fowler (eight years, $6.5MM AAV). Ellis’ stats are challenging to look when attempting to compare to any of those defensemen. Offensively, he’s never put up 40 points in a season yet, coming close once with 38 points (16 of those were goals). However, after missing the first half of this past season after undergoing knee surgery in the offseason, Ellis’ stats took a jump when he put up 32 points in 44 games, suggesting that his offense is starting to emerge. With his defense never under question, the Predators must come up with a number soon.
So what range should Ellis fall into?
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