Checking in with 20 things to know about Ryan Ellis, whom the Flyers seemingly hope will give Ivan Provorov a steady partner on the team’s top defensive pairing. The merry-go-round Provy dealt with last year clearly hindered his play.
1. Besides Ellis, Justin Braun is the only other right-handed shot among Flyers current or potential defensemen. Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Samuel Morin, Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Cam York and Egor Zamula all fire it left-handed.
2. Seasons these defensemen are signed through via CapFriendly.com: Ellis (2026-2027), Provorov (2024-25), Gostisbehere (2022-23), York (2022-23), Zamula (2022-23), Braun (2021-22), Hagg (2021-22), Sanheim (restricted free agent), and Morin (unrestricted free agent).
3. Cap hits for Flyers defensemen in 2021-22: Provorov ($6.75M), Ellis ($6.25M), Gostisbehere ($4.5M), Braun ($1.8M), and Hagg ($1.6M). York ($880K) and Zamula ($756K) are non-rostered. Sanheim is an RFA, Morin is a UFA.
4. Ellis was born on Jan. 3, 1991, the same day Buddy Ryan predicted Washington running back Earnest Byner would fumble in their upcoming playoff game at Veterans Stadium. Byner did not fumble, the Eagles went to 0-3 in the postseason under their brash coach, and Norman Braman had enough of the empty bravado and fired Ryan three days later. It was a chaotic time to be an Eagles fan.
5. Ellis was drafted 11th overall by Nashville in 2009. He was the fourth defenseman selected in what turned out to be a strong draft for the position. Victor Hedman (2nd), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (6th), Dmitry Kulikov (14th), Nick Leddy (16th), Dmitry Orlov (55th), and David Savard (94th) also went in 2009. The Flyers didn’t have a pick before the third round that year, as Paul Holmgren traded their first-rounder for Chris Pronger and their second-rounder for Vinny Prospal.
6. Barry Trotz, Peter Laviolette, John Hynes and now Alain Vigneault are the coaches Ellis has played for in his career. Not a bad lot.
7. Won consecutive CHL Memorial Cups in 2009 and 2010 with the Windsor Spitfires. Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Phillipp Grubauer and former Flyer Eric Wellwood were among his teammates. Wellwood’s career ended when he sliced his own Achilles’ tendon falling into the boards while playing with the Phantoms in 2013. He’s currently the head coach of the Flint Firebirds of the OHL.
8. Also was part of the World Junior Championship win for Team Canada in 2009. John Tavares, Alex Pietrangelo and Jamie Benn were teammates and the late Pat Quinn was the head coach. They beat James van Riemsdyk and Team USA in the final. Ellis and Canada won silver in 2010 and 2011.
9. Ellis’ deepest run in the NHL playoffs was in 2017 when Nashville made it to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to Pittsburgh in six games. Ellis had 13 points in 22 games and was +4.
10. Ellis is the Predators’ all-time postseason leader with 31 assists (in 74 games). The Flyers leader in that category is Bobby Clarke with 77 (in 136 games). Among defensemen, Mark Howe is tops with 45 (in 82 games).
11. Ellis had at least 25 assists for seven consecutive seasons before last year’s shortened campaign.
12. Ellis has averaged at least 23 minutes per game each of the last five seasons. His 63 blocked shots (in just 35 games) would have been fourth last year among Flyers’ players behind Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Justin Braun -- all of whom played more than 50 games.
13. In 2012, the Flyers signed then-restricted free agent defenseman Shea Weber to an offer sheet, only to see him go back to Nashville. When Weber was traded to Montreal in 2016, Ellis became one of the faces of the Predators franchise.
14. David Poile, the Predators general manager with whom Chuck Fletcher swung the deal to get Ellis, is the son of Bud Poile, the Flyers’ first GM. Bud Poile’s first pick in the 1967 expansion draft was Bruins prospect Bernie Parent, and he drafted Bobby Clarke, Dave Schultz and Don Saleski in 1969.
15. Ellis played just 35 of 56 games, missing 20 after shoulder surgery in March. The Predators went 12-7-1 without him in the lineup, though four of those wins came in either overtime or in a shootout.
16. He incorporated his uniform number into his personal charity Elly4Kids Foundation, which helps build children’s parks in his native Hamilton, Ont. Ellis had run an annual golf outing until the coronavirus hit.
17. Ken Dryden, Dave Andreychuk, and coach Dick Irvin are among the Hall of Famers to come from Hamilton. Late goaltender Ray Emery, too.
18. The No. 4 he wore in Nashville is not available here. It was retired in honor of Barry Ashbee, a budding Flyers defenseman who suffered a career-ending injury during the 1974 Stanley Cup run and died of leukemia in 1977.
19. Ellis has been in the league for 10 years, but has played just five games at the Wells Fargo Center, the most recent three years ago. He was 2-2-1 here with one assist.
20. Ellis is 30-1 to win the Norris Trophy at BetMGM.com. Ivan Provorov is 50-1. Colorado’s Cale Makar (5-1), Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman (6-1), and the Rangers’ Adam Fox (6-1) are the favorites. The Flyers are 30-1 to end a Stanley Cup drought that turns 47 years old next spring. They could use a goal scorer next.