For 12 years and 10 seasons of playing in the NHL, Ryan Ellis has spent his entire time in Nashville. He was drafted 11th overall in 2009, then debuted in the 2011-12 season. Over the past decade, he became a staple among the Predators lineup and leadership group.
So when Saturday afternoon’s trade went down and sent Ellis to the Flyers for Phil Myers and Nolan Patrick, it came as a surprise to the veteran defenseman. That said, it also marks the beginning of a new chapter for Ellis.
“I didn't envision any of this, to be honest, ever. I've never been traded or anything in my life,” Ellis said. “It was a shock and a lot of surprise. After that, got to move on and move forward. I'm excited at the next chapter. I'm excited to be a part of the Flyers organization.”
As part of the Western Conference for his entire career, Ellis admitted he didn’t have much knowledge of the Flyers from the limited meetings between the two teams. In fact, between this past season’s all divisional play and the shortened regular season in 2019-20 due to the COVID-19 pause, the Flyers and Predators have not faced each other since New Year’s Day 2019.
That said, Ellis does have some knowledge on the group he’s joining and of his eventual partner in Ivan Provorov.
“I know they have a great core. The core has been there for a long time. They've had a lot of success,” Ellis said. “To be honest, I’m just looking forward to jumping in and being another player. To contribute any way I can, whether it be on the ice or off. Just be another guy in the room trying to chase something together.
“I know [Provorov]’s an unbelievable player. He’s got terrific skill. I’ve seen him score some awesome goals on the highlights.”
Perhaps the most interesting thing from Ellis’ press conference was an update on his health. There were reports that he had shoulder surgery last season, but Ellis updated his health and denied such reports.
“I shattered my knuckle last year, so that was what I missed time for,” Ellis said. “Other than that, no, I'm good. I'm healthy. I'm hungry and I'm happy and excited to be a member of the Flyers. I don't know where the shoulder thing came from.”
So with the focus on making an impact on his new team right away, Ellis is prepared to play whatever role is needed and bring his team-first mentality and desire to win to the Flyers.
“I’m looking forward to competing with the guys. At this point in my career, all I want to do is win and this organization has got a winning standard and expectations to do so,” Ellis said. “For me, I'm going to try to play my game and help the team out any way I can going forward. If that's scoring goals or stopping goals, doing both, whatever it takes to help this team win.
“It seems like there's a nice mix of veteran guys and younger guys. I think there's only one expectation and that’s to win. I’m excited to be part of that team and hopefully do something special with this group.”
Flyers Announce Preseason Schedule
Speaking of newcomers like Ryan Ellis, the first chance for fans to see the new blueliner, who will wear No. 94 with the Flyers, will come at the end of September.
The Flyers announced their preseason schedule on Tuesday morning and it features six games.
The Flyers will open on home ice on Tuesday, Sept. 28 against the New York Islanders. They will also play at home on Saturday, Oct. 2, against the Washington Capitals and Monday, Oct. 4, against the Boston Bruins.
On the road, the Flyers will face the same three teams. They take on the Bruins on Thursday, Sept. 30, face the Islanders on Tuesday, Oct. 5, and close the preseason on Friday, Oct. 8, against the Capitals. Times for all preseason games will be announced at a later date.