Nashville Predators defenceman Ryan Ellis sustained an upper-body injury and was placed on injured reserve, the team announced today. Ellis left the 2020 NHL Winter Classic less than five minutes into the game and did not return, leaving Nashville with five defencemen for the majority of the game. Alexandre Carrier was called up from AHL Milwaukee.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 3, 2020
Ryan Ellis of Nashville Predators Injured
Early in the first period of the game, Ellis was taking a shot at the point when the Dallas Stars‘ Corey Perry barreled into him. Ellis was crouched as he was looking for a shot, and Perry extended his elbow to make contact with the head. Perry received a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for the elbow.
Ellis has been a reliable offensive defenceman throughout his nine-year NHL career. In 516 games with the Predators, Ellis has 68 goals, 174 assists, and 242 points. He was originally drafted by Nashville in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, taken 11th overall.
This season, Ellis has been on a tear, tallying six goals and 22 assists for 28 points in 38 games. He’s also added on 13 penalty minutes. He’s had good possession numbers this year as well, noting a 54.7 percent Corsi at even strength and a relative Corsi of 3.0 percent.
The Effect on Nashville
The absence of Ellis leaves a huge hole in Nashville’s lineup. Since many of their forwards have struggled to produce this year, some of their defencemen have been counted on to provide points. Ellis, along with captain Roman Josi, has been integral in keeping Nashville’s offence afloat.
Ellis also plays a very solid two-way game, helping control play and limiting quality opportunities against. He’s also viewed as a leader on the team at nearly 30 years old. For a Predators squad jousting for a playoff spot, the absence of such an important player is crushing. Players like Dante Fabbro and Mattias Ekholm will be counted on immensely to fill Ellis’ hole.
DENVER, CO – APRIL 22: Ryan Ellis #4 of the Nashville Predators fires a goal against the Colorado Avalanche in Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on April 22, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)