The Nashville Predators have re-signed defenceman Ryan Ellis to an eight-year contract extension worth an average of $6.25 million, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.
Great news for NSH, not so great news for any of the other 30 teams that were planning on UFA shopping in 2019: Defenceman Ryan Ellis has agreed to an eight-year extension with the Preds. AAV of $6.25M. Extension kicks in for the 19-20 season.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) August 14, 2018
The 27-year-old Ellis has been a standout on Nashville's blue line over the last five years, helping them reach the 2017 Stanley Cup Final and the team's first Presidents' Trophy in 2018. Ellis has 55 career goals and 173 points in 396 games, but his physical style and reliable defensive game are really what helped him earn the big contract.
So far, the best season of Ellis' career was 2016-17, when he had 16 goals and 38 points. He missed half of 2017-18 after undergoing knee surgery, but managed nine goals and 32 points in 44 games. Surely, Ellis was going to have another career year if he had played the entire season.
Predators general manager David Poile has done an remarkable job locking up his core players to team-friendly, long-term extensions. With P.K. Subban, Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm all signed through at least 2019-20, the Predators star-studded blue line remains in tact and keeps the championship window open longer.
Josi only has two years left on his contract, however, so he's undoubtedly the next order of business for Poile. Vezina goalie Pekka Rinne is entering the final season of his contract, but he'll be 36 and has struggled in the postseason, so the Predators may be hesitant in locking him up to a long-term deal.
Ellis and the Predators have been one of the NHL's most consistent teams since 2015, making the playoffs each year and advancing to the second round in three consecutive years.
Once Josi is re-signed, Nashville will have all of its core players locked up long-term, and thus ensuring they'll be a top team in the Western Conference for several more years. It's a great day for Predators fans, who can celebrate eight more years of Ellis in the Music City.