The Edmonton Oilers continued their spring signing season today, adding an NCAA goalie to a growing group of hopefuls who will enter pro hockey this year.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) April 7, 2016
Before we get to Ellis, let’s review the spring signings.
- Oilers signed L Jere Sallinen to an NHL contract. His NHLE is 82, 10-15-25.
- Bakersfield signed D Colton Waltz.
- Bakersfield signed R Joey Benik. His NHLE is 82, 19-20-39.
- Chris Dilks, SB Nation: Ellis spent the past two seasons waiting in the wings behind superstar goalie Jon Gillies at Providence. But this year, as the team’s top goalie, he’s been able to shine. Ellis brings a good mix of size and athleticism and has been very effective in net all season.
- Dilks ranked Ellis as the No. 5 free-agent option among college players here.
- He is from Millersville, Maryland a community that is too small to count people. It has many trees and a freeway, reminding me a little of Red Deer. It is 29 minutes from Baltimore. I wonder if Babe Ruth ever spent a day there.
- His save percentage was .936, but the backup was .940.
- He was backup to Jon Gillies a year ago.
- For Eagles fans: He came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island.
- There are many people named Nick Ellis and many of those people named Nick Ellis do something in American colleges. This makes things confusing for Mr. Google, and for me.
- There are two highlight packages here.
- Jim Donaldson wrote a nice article about him for the Providence Journal here.
My guess is we see him in Bakersfield this fall, perhaps as a backup to Laurent Brossoit. You will read lots of opinions on this, but the key thing to remember is that college goalies who graduate to pro hockey are going to need to prove themselves—and there are no guarantees. Providence plays in a division that would be considered defensive, and the goalies often have gaudy save percentages. I am hopeful we can discuss his signing without either trumpeting a savior or ripping him for sins real or imagined. Congratulations, Nick Ellis, and welcome. We will commence cheering like hell for you.
PROJECTED 2016-17 50-MAN LIST (38)
- G Cam Talbot. No. 1 next season.
- G Laurent Brossoit. Projects as NHL backup/AHL starter, signed a two-year deal.
- G Nick Ellis: I believe he will see a lot of action in Bakersfield, but he will write his own script.
- G Eetu Laurikainen, AHL backup, he is signed for next year.
- D Oscar Klefbom, likely top pairing, needs to stay healthy.
- D Andrej Sekera, top 4D, important part of the team.
- D Brandon Davidson, top 6D, maybe even top 4D if he continues on current track.
- D Mark Fayne, I question Oilers ability to find three better RH this summer.
- D Darnell Nurse, probably top 6D next season, ideally in Bakersfield.
- D Eric Gryba, UFA. I believe he will sign with the Oilers.
- D Griffin Reinhart, may spend another year in the minors. Could be dealt.
- D Andrew Ference, they will buy him out (if able). LTIR is my guess.
- D Jordan Oesterle, AHL D, NHL time. RFA. Suspect he signs.
- D Joey Laleggia, AHL D matriculating.
- D Dillon Simpson, AHL D, matriculating.
- D Ben Betker, AHL D, matriculating.
- C Connor McDavid, Giant.
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, quality NHL center.
- C Leon Draisaitl, emerging NHL talent.
- C Mark Letestu, checking NHL C.
- C Anton Lander, they may find a buyer.
- C Jujhar Khaira, he is a good bet to make the roster in the fall.
- C Bogdan Yakimov, a chance he comes back. Has NHL tools, speed concern.
- C Kyle Platzer, AHL C matriculating.
- L Taylor Hall, impact NHL player. Many fans want him gone.
- L Benoit Pouliot, underrated by many. Trade rumors.
- L Patrick Maroon, big winger has been exceptional since arrival.
- L Lauri Korpikoski, Oilers should try to offload him this summer.
- L Matt Hendricks, checking NHL W.
- L Jere Sallinen, you can never have too many Finns.
- L Mitch Moroz, AHL winger/enforcer, matriculating.
- L Braden Christoffer, rugged winger, matriculating.
- R Jordan Eberle, scoring winger could be in play.
- R Nail Yakupov, gone baby, gone.
- R Zack Kassian, probably part of the future in a top 9F role. RFA.
- R Iiro Pakarinen, suspect he will push for a spot next fall. RFA
- R Anton Slepyshev, talented winger should push for NHL time.
- R Greg Chase, minor league winger, matriculating.