Aug 13, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT
The 23-year-old defenseman is the lone remaining restricted free agent from last year’s roster who has not come to contract terms. He is coming off a three-year, $4.5 million entry-level deal.
General manager David Poile sounded hopeful a resolution could be reached soon. Veterans are scheduled to report for training camp on Sept. 17.
“Like 99 percent of negotiations that aren’t done at this time we just don’t agree exactly on what the dollars should be,” Poile said. “Hopefully it will be done by training camp. That’s what our target is.”
Ellis is in an interesting situation. The 11th overall pick and fourth defenseman off the board in 2009 — taken ahead of Calvin de Haan and Nick Leddy — he struggled to find his niche in his first two professional seasons but broke out in ’13-14, posting career highs in games played (80), goals (six), assists (21) and points (27).
Yet in Nashville, he’s stuck amongst a glut of blueliners.
Shea Weber and Roman Josi are the top two guys, and Seth Jones arrived on the scene last year and became the No. 3 (with the understanding he’s talented enough to eventually push for one of the top two spots). As a result, Ellis only averaged 16:04 TOI per game last year, though that number is expected to increase under Peter Laviolette’s new uptempo system, which should fit Ellis’ offensive skillset and puck-moving ability.
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