Edmonton Oilers: Nick Ellis Ready for Bigger Role

PROVIDENCE, RI - OCTOBER 16: Nick Ellis. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
PROVIDENCE, RI - OCTOBER 16: Nick Ellis. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /

To ensure my goaltending depth as Cam Talbot took over the starting role and Laurent Brossoit headed to the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers signed NCAA free agent Nick Ellis to an entry-level deal last season.

The Millersville, Maryland native came to light after a breakout 2015-16 campaign. Prior to the year, Ellis wasn’t a standout talent but busted out onto the scene with a 1.80 GAA and .936 save percentage through 36 games. He also helped carry Providence to yet another appearance in the NCAA D1 Men’s Hockey Championship.

Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers /

Edmonton Oilers

This past season, Ellis played 34 games with the Condors this season and is looking to be the main starting goaltender this coming season. He posted a 16-12-1 record, as well as a 2.69 GAA and .918 save percentage. One of his best games came early in the season in one of his first AHL starts. In a game against the San Jose Barracuda, where the Condors were being dominated, Ellis shined and recorded 41 saves, keeping the team in the game.

Ellis’ Upside

The 23-year-old had to compete with the likes of Brossoit and Jonas Gustavsson this season. However, he will definitely have more playing time this coming year, considering Brossoit will take on the role of Talbot’s full-time backup and Gustavsson is set to play in Sweden this coming year.

Ellis has great movement around the crease and is only getting faster. He also has a great glove hand and can drop to the butterfly effectively. The 6-foot-1, 181-pound netminder is an averaged sized goalie and can look small at times, but still works hard to improve. In addition, he knows how to work well under pressure.

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If Ellis wants to head into an eventual NHL role, he will have to continue to thrive and stand out. Considering he can work well under stress and stands confident in the face of adversity, he is already on the right path to the NHL. Still, there are certain areas, such as reacting too quickly and going to a default move, that he needs to resolve before he heads into a bigger role.