There’s a mystery developing on the Nashville blueline as the Preds prepare to face Detroit this evening.
The mystery begins with The Tennessean’s Josh Cooper reporting Shea Weber left today’s morning skate early. “This rarely happens,” Cooper explained. “In fact, I’ve never seen it happen.”
Weber took a knock in Nashville’s final game before Christmas — a 6-3 loss to the Stars — yet still managed to log over 27 minutes of ice time. It remains unclear what’s plaguing Weber as head coach Barry Trotz didn’t provide an update following practice.
The mystery then continues with the health of Kevin Klein. He’s missed the last two games with the flu and is listed as day-to-day. Klein did skate this morning but — like Weber — his status remains unclear.
So, Nashville could be down two defensive regulars. What’s the solution?
Perhaps it’s giving highly-touted prospect Ryan Ellis his NHL debut.
Cooper notes that while Trotz hasn’t officially announced a call-up from AHL Milwaukee, Nashville’s website and the NHL media site already have Ellis on the Predators roster.
Ellis, 20, was taken 11th overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and went on to become one of the most decorated players in CHL history.
I mean, consider his 2011 trophy haul:
CHL Player of the Year
CHL Defenseman of the Year
Red Tilson Trophy (OHL Outstanding Player)
World Junior Championship All-Star Team
World Junior Championship Best Defenseman
Needless to say, Preds fans are quite excited at the potential of his debut…but there is a flip side. If Ellis does indeed dress, Nashville will have three rookie blueliners — Ellis, Roman Josi and Jonathan Blum — in the lineup against a veteran-laden Detroit squad.