Preds Activate Hornqvist, Send Ellis Packing for Milwaukee

In order to clear up room for scoring forward Patric Hornqvist, who was activated off of IR today, Nashville decided to send defenseman Ryan Ellis down to Milwaukee.

Ellis, who started the season in Milwaukee, has been with Nashville since the day the NHL lockout ended after collecting nine points in an injury-shortened 20 games.

After a fast start to season with the Predators, Ellis has gone horribly cold. He is without a point since Feb. 14 (a stretch of 17 games), with the low point coming on March 14 when the 22-year-old suffered through a minus-four night as the Vancouver whipped the Predators 7-4. However, Ellis did compete in his first NHL fight in a 4-0 win over Dallas on March 12.

The Freelton, Ontario native has just six points in 31 NHL games this season after picking up 11 in 32 last season (both seasons Ellis started in Milwaukee). Ellis will join Craig Smith as recently demoted Predators on the Milwaukee roster.

So Roundtable . . . Are you as surprised as I am to see Ryan Ellis back in Milwaukee? Did his recent play warrant this demotion? Has Victor Bartley jumped ahead of Ellis and Jon Blum on the Predators’ depth chart (Bartley’s playing around 20 mins a game in his last three contests)? How long do you expect Ellis to be down?

6 thoughts on “Preds Activate Hornqvist, Send Ellis Packing for Milwaukee”

  1. Not surprising if one has been looking at TOI for the Preds players. VB has been getting a lot of TOI, I think it’s clear they like his play. Ellis being sent down instead of Blum is surprising to me. I do think VB is ahead of both of them at this point. I don’t expect him to be back down unless his play drops off, like Ellis’ did. I don’t think Ellis will be down for long. I expect this to be a wake-up call for him.

  2. Agreed with Ryan… I’m willing to bet that Ellis got sent down simply because he’s the only guy who can be sent down without going through waivers.

  3. I’m from Nashville and have been watching the guys from Milwaukee closely… Bartley looks great. He covers a ton of ground on the PK so he’s picking up some time there as well as just being very solid defensively. He can sometimes get overexcited and make an errant first pass, but for the most part I’ve been very comfortable. He has great foot speed which allows him to get into position at the NHL level. Beck has also looked excellent for a first timer. Hs decision making is NHL ready and he’s used his size well. He needs to improve on skating the most, much like Colin Wilson did when he got called up. Beck’s killer instinct around the net is a breath of fresh air though. Ellis isn’t spreading the play with passing like at the start of the year. He tries to make moves too flat footed and is just too easy to separate from the puck. Of the three, Bartley is definitely the closest to a lock to stay on the Pred’s roster. He flat out earned his spot. Beck looks good enough to stick around, but may be demoted based upon moves to accommodate Wilson and Gaustad’s return. Ellis probably needs to finish the year in Milwaukee unless we move a defenseman (Blum). Mueller will be sent back down. He scored a nice goal tonight, but his faceoff/bottom 6 role is going back to Gaustad. He’s made a few mistakes in defensive coverage which is not acceptable to Trotz long term

  4. I agree with Alan’s assessment, I think Ellis’ problem will always be that he isn’t 6’2″ so if he isn’t playing a superior offensive game he will be on the bubble, that coupled with Josi’s stellar play and Hannan being better suited to be a spare could result in Ellis being in Milwaukee for the rest of the season. That should help out the Ads powerplay down the stretch. I can’t really see the Preds making a deal given that the return of Wilson and Gaustad could pretty much have the same effect and guys like Iginla and Jagr would probably be pricey. I would agree that Gaustad’s return probably means a demotion for Mueller and they could make room for Wilson simply by leaving Smith in Milwaukee. Smith certainly has flashed some impressive offensive moves while down but I still would like to see him win a faceoff before he is anointed as a top six forward. Of course Wilson and Gaustad’s injuries could linger till the playoffs when a roster move would be a moot point.

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