Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Options At #10, D Ryan Ellis

D Ryan Ellis
5-10 173lbs. 1/3/91
Windsor (OHL) 57gp. 22-67-89 +52 57pim.

11-34-45 PP
9-33-42 ES
2-0-2 SH

led his team in ppg with 1.56
2nd in the league in +/- with a +52
1st in league with 67 assists
3rd in league in PP assists with 34
led all league defensemen is goals, assists, and points

Pretty incredible accomplishments, add to that he kept up with his ppg in the playoffs with 1.55, going for 8-23-31 and a +16 with 5 PP Goals.

Here are some of my concerns other than of course the obvious size and skating questions posed by scouts.....

The Windsor Spitfires had no less than 8 players with 1 point per game or better, and although Ellis led the charge, it's no doubt that such a strong offensive team would benefit an offensive defenseman like Ellis.

Their teams worst +/- was -1 (two players tied with that rating), 2 others were even. +54, +52, +52, +46, +39, +29, +28, +27, +27, +27, +24, +22. That's a list of Spitfires players +/-'s, if that doesn't signify a dominant team, I don't know what does.

No less than 5 defensemen averaged 1ppg or better this season in the OHL, and another 8 (with at least 30gp.) averaged at least 0.75ppg. That's a lot of high scoring rearguards although few were of the same league as Ellis. While there were only 2 players in the same ball park offensively on defense as Ellis, one was actually a rookie. Here's how the top 3 offensive defensemen in the OHL stacked up......

Ryan Ellis 57gp. 22-67-89 1.56ppg +52 57pim. 7 other players on team with 1+ppg

P.K. Subban 56gp. 14-62-76 1.36ppg +47 94pim. 4 other players on team with 1+ppg

John Carlsson 59gp. 16-60-76 1.29ppg +23 65pim. 5 other players on team with 1+ppg

Granted Subban is older, it shows just how much support Ellis had on his Spitfires team. Ellis had one HELL of a season, that much is for certain, however all of these things must be accounted for before we decide to use our 2nd highest draft pick in the last decade to draft a guy with his diminutive stature with skating concerns to boot.

Ellis apparently drove the bus for Windsor offensively, and his being a defenseman and playing more minutes than forwards helped the cause, especially when you have 5 forwards that are at 1+ ppg and a lot of secondary scoring in front of you. Of course as a defenseman you have to make the right reads and move the puck effectively to put up points, but it really helps when you have forwards that know what they are doing offensively.

If it is the Oilers scouts belief that he can become more fleet of foot, I would be perfectly fine selecting him at 10. However as is often the case in the draft, beyond the top 2 or 3 players there are always concerns about how a player will improve on their glaring and potentially damning weaknesses.

Here's a taste of what this skilled blueliner can do

No comments: