Predators sign Ryan Ellis to five-year, $12.5M deal

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Just two days ago, talks between the Nashville Predators and Ryan Ellis seemed a little nasty. Apparently a day or two does indeed make a difference, as the Predators announced a five-year deal that’s very nice if the contract terms match TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s report.

The deal is worth $2.5 million per year, totaling $12.5 million, according to McKenzie.

Rinkside Report’s Jim Diamond passes along a confirmation from Ellis’ agent, so it sounds accurate:

Ellis is 23, so this deal would even cover a bit of the young blueliner’s UFA window. While he hasn’t put up the offensive stats that some expected considering the ridiculous¬†101 points he generated with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires in just 58 games(!) back in 2010-11, Ellis was quietly one of Nashville’s most efficient defensemen last season.

That reported $2.5 million cap hit would be fair for what Ellis was in 2013-14, but if Peter Laviolette can tap into his talents in ways that Barry Trotz’s system never did, this could be a big steal. People are already raving about the contract:

While the Predators made some big risks with hefty contracts for Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne, the team is stocking up on quality defensemen at cheap prices.¬†Roman Josi’s $4 million cap hit has the potential to look better every year until it expires after the 2019-20 season while Seth Jones still has two years on his team-friendly entry-level contract.

The Predators seem like they’re in a transitional stage from Trotz to Laviolette, but that defensive group could be a significant strength in 2014-15 and in the future.