The 2003-04 season was not only Ellis draft year, but also his first year as a starting goaltender in the QMJHL, and he did not disappoint. Playing in 59 games, he racked up 32 wins and was considered by many to be the top goaltender in the 2004 NHL draft. He was showcased to NHL scouts in the 2004 CHL Top Prospect game, one of only four goaltenders to play there. Still, Ellis fell a great deal in the NHL draft, to the sixth round when it was expected he would go in the second.
6th round (189th overall), 2004
Ellis was spectacular in his second full QMJHL season, carrying the Cataractes to a playoff performance and boasting impressive personal statistics including a sparkling 2.41 goals against average. However, things took a turn for the worse the next season when he struggled with consistency while posting rather pedestrian stats. He also suffered a nearly catastrophic knee injury at the end of the season which some believe he never recovered from.
2006-07: Ellis spent the bulk of his first pro season in the ECHL with the Victoria Salmon Kings. It was a disappointing season that began with him being criticized by Canucks staff for not showing up in shape.
2007-08: Although Ellis did remain in the ECHL for the duration of the season (with the exception of a single-game call-up), it was a much better year for the young Sorel native who was named to the ECHL All Star Game. However, it did end on a sour note as he lost his starting job to Billy Thompson for the bulk of the playoffs.
Ellis has tremendous quickness, particularly with his side-to-side movement. Although he appears to have lost some of that after his knee injury, he remains a quick goaltender with tremendous reflexes.
He needs all of his quickness to compensate for the fact that he is a very small goaltender. Ellis does not naturally fill much of the net and doesn’t have the luxury of relying on size and positioning to just allow the puck to hit him. Another aspect of his game that he needs to work on is rebound control.