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The Nashville Predators announced on Tuesday they reached an agreement with defenseman Ryan Ellis on an eight-year, $50 million contract extension through the 2026-27 NHL season.
Preds general manager David Poile said Ellis is a “huge part of our team on and off the ice and we are happy to have his leadership remain in our locker room for the foreseeable future.”
“We have talked about wanting to keep the core of our team together, and this is another opportunity to help us do so while continuing to compete for a Stanley Cup,” Poile added. “Ryan is entering his prime and is one of the reasons why we feel this team has a chance to win every time we step on the ice.”
Ellis’ new contract will kick in for the 2019-20 season. He’ll make $3.5 million with a cap hit of $2.5 million for the upcoming campaign under the terms of his prior contract, per Spotrac.
Adam Vingan of the Tennessean reported the deal doesn’t include a no-movement or no-trade clause.
The 27-year-old Canadian tallied nine goals and 23 assists across just 44 appearances last season. His 32 points were just six shy of his career high despite being sidelined until early January because of offseason knee surgery.
“I love hockey the most in life, and you take that away, it’s tough,” Ellis told reporters following his return. “Take your phone away from you, and how would you feel, right? It’d be rough.”
Micah Blake McCurdy of HockeyViz showcased the blueliner’s strong across-the-board impact:
Micah Blake McCurdy @IneffectiveMath
Ryan Ellis (long deal with Nashville) is a first-pair defender by individual production and shot impact, with an extremely good penalty differential despite slightly defensive zone usage. https://t.co/TfSycJD55k
Much of the Predators’ success in recent seasons, including an appearance in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, can be attributed to their terrific group of defensemen. Nashville won the Central Division and the Western Conference last year.
Ellis’ extension ensures the top four that also features Roman Josi, P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm will remain in place for at least two more seasons as the team looks to remain a contender in the West.