Nashville defenceman Ryan Ellis will remain in Music City for a while, as the Predators announced on Tuesday they signed the 27-year-old to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the deal doesn’t come with any trade protection and includes a $7 million signing bonus on July 1, 2019.
The beard is back! #Preds sign defenseman Ryan Ellis to eight-year contract.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) August 14, 2018
The move by Predators general manager David Poile secures one of the squad’s top pairing defenceman for an extended period of time at a pretty solid price. He’ll make $2.5 million next season before this new deal kicks in for the 2019-20 campaign.
Following the Predators’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, they won the Presidents’ Trophy last season with a record of 53-18-11 for 117 points. Ellis was a big part of that equation on both sides of the puck.
Despite missing nearly half the season due to injury, the Hamilton, Ont., native put up nine goals and 23 assists in 44 regular season contests. Furthermore, his plus-26 rating was a career-high. He added five assists in 13 playoff games.
Ellis will continue to be a critical part of a Nashville squad that refuses to let opponents find the back of the net. Its 204 goals against last season was second-best in the regular season.
Nashville now has all of its key blueliners under contract for the next two seasons. That’s some concerning news for the rest of the league.
With the exception of Dan Hamhuis, none of the Predators’ top six defencemen are over the age of 30.