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ABOUT
Team: Nashville Predators
Number: 49
Position: Defence
Shoots: Right
Height: 5.10"
Weight: 173
Birthdate: January 3, 1991
Birthplace: Freelton, ON

Ryan spent 4 years in the Ontario Hockey League playing for the Windsor Spitfires, in his last year he was named Captain. He has won back to back Memorial Cups & broken countless records in the OHL. He is also known for his 3 years representing Canada at the IIHF World Juniors (U-20) winning 1 Gold in 2009 and Silver in 2010 & 2011. With 25 points over three years at the tournament, he tied Jordan Eberle as Canada's second-best scorer of all-time, behind Lindros' 31 points. Ryan takes "offensive defenseman" to a whole new level.

In 2009 Ryan was drafted 11th overall by the Nashville Predators. He attended training camp that year but returned to Windsor after suffering a wrist injury. Training camp for 2010, Ryan got sent back to Windsor where he played his last season as a Windsor Spitfire. After the Spitfires lost in the Western Conference Finals, Ryan was quickly called up to Nashville's AHL team The Milwaukee Admirals to help in their playoff run. He played 7 games before the Ads were eliminated but not before Ryan was able to record his first pro goal on May 8th.

Disclaimer
Any pictures posted do not belong to me. I try my best to give the right credit for things I have posted & if by chance you see something that is yours with no credit, please let me know.


Sports arguments are the best since each person has an unshared idea of what the argument about — but all rhetorical roads, in the case, will lead to Ryan Ellis.

The Ontario Hockey League’s Red Tilson Trophy, by definition, goes to the league’s most oustanding player, but perception is reality. Put it another way, good luck finding anyone who does not consider it a MVP award. The league announced its 20 finalists (East and West) Friday, but it is tough picturing how the award will not land in the hands of the Windsor Spitfires captain, who needs five points in his final two games to become the first defenceman to record a 100-point season since 1994, when some of the OHL’s current rookies were born.

In any event, the fun with these award debates is that there are so many different angles. Here are just five rationales for awarding the Red Tilson and a finalist it sticks to the most:

The ”imagine his team without him” argument — Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires

Ellis (right in photo) having 95 points as a defenceman covers the outstanding argument. In terms of value, a French-derived word for, “Would his team be up a creek if he was gone?”, Ellis regularly logs 30-minute-plus nights for a quickly rebuilt Spitfires team which can be scrambly in its zone. Through all of that, the Nashville Predators prospect is plus-22 on a team whose other defenceman, counting those who have been there all season, range from +4 to -7.

Windsor was not recognized during either of its championship seasons. Ellis, though, kept a far less cohesive group in the top four of a very tight conference.

The ”best player on a top team” argument — Garrett Wilson, Owen Sound Attack

The Western Conference regular-season champion Attack (keep typing it until it no longer sounds weird) opted to nominate their captain, who’s a two-way force, over their biggest talent, Colorado Avalanchefirst-round Joey Hishon. Hishon has as many points as Wilson (84) despite playing in 15 fewer games due to an early-season injury and a February suspension, so he probably had the more outstanding season of the dynamic duo up by Georgian Bay.

Wilson (left in photo), was a constant in Owen Sound’s path to their first division title. Coming into this weekend, the Florida Panthers prospect shares the team lead in points and plus-minus (+33), a notable feat. Owen Sound’s low profile might work against him in a media vote, though.

The “check out his stats” argument — Jason Akeson, Kitchener Rangers

The Philadelphia Flyers prospect, with two games yet to play, is in the lead for the scoring (106 points) and assist (82) crowns. The last Ranger to win the scoring title, Justin Azevedo in 2007-08, also took home the Red Tilson Trophy. For all Akeson’s merits, it will be hard to push out the perception he’s living off the luxury of having likely NHL top-10 selections Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Murphy and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jerry D’Amigo as teammates.

The “almost worst to first” argument — Christian Thomas, Oshawa Generals

Thomas’ Gennies might yet join Owen Sound as teams which went from missing the playoffs a season ago to winning their division. The 18-year-old son of Stumpy, with an OHL-best 54 goals among his 95 points, has maintained his production thoughout the new year, helping Oshawa to a post-trade deadline record of 16-7-1-2. A few Red Tilson recipients have been 18-year-olds — there’s a bump in name recognition after going through the NHL draft — so Thomas’ chances aren’t as remote as they might seem. Ultimately, Thomas probably goes into the wait-till-the-year pile.

The “thrill of the new” argument — Ryan Strome, Niagara IceDogs

Tyler Seguin was recognized last season, so it is possible for a draft-season centre. Strome (33 goals, 102 points in 64 games) has been catalytic in the IceDogs’ quicker than anticipated growth into a very balanced team. Still, some would wonder if he even is Niagara’s most important player over Team Canada netminder and Phoenix Coyotes first-round selection Mark Visentin (2.47 goals-against, .918 save percentage). Strome might not have enough of an established reputation to rate consideration.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. (Photos: OHL Images.)

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  1. fuckyeahryanellis posted this