Morgan Ellis
Image: NHL

Morgan Ellis

Hometown:

Ellerslie Prince Edward Island

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-04-30

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2010

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2010

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

4th round (117th overall), 2010

Weight:

205 lbs.

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History

2007-08: Morgan Ellis was chosen in the third round of the 2008 QMJHL Draft by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

2008-09: In his QMJHL rookie season, Ellis played in 52 games for the Eagles, notching 6 assistsand 45 penalty minutes in those games.  Played in 10 playoff games, picking up 1 assist.

2009-10: In his second season with the Screaming Eagles, Eliis appeared in 60 games for that club.  He scored 4 goals and added 25 assists for 29 points and tacked on 56 penalty minutes.  Ellis scored 1 goal in 5 playoff games.  Missed the cut for Team Canada’s Under-18 entry at the World Junior Championships.

2010-11: Ellis was team captain and the top defenseman for Cape Breton in his third QMJHL season. In 65 games for the Eagles he scored 8 goals with 28 assists – both tops among Cape Breton defensemen. Ellis also had 65 PMs and a -27 plus/minus which could be attributed to playing for an Eagles squad that allowed 122 more goals than it scored. Despite winning just 18 games, Cape Breton qualified for the QMJHL’s last playoff spot. In the Eagles’ four-game, first round loss to eventual Memorial Cup champion Saint John, Ellis was scoreless and -4 with 8 PMs.

 2011-12: Ellis returned to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles after impressing in Montreal’s training camp. A team captain for Cape Breton in his fourth QMJHL season, he scored 7 goals (six on the power play) with 18 assists and was -3 with 18 penalty minutes in 34 games. Ellis was selected to represent the QJMHL at the 2011 Subway Super Series against Russia, playing a shutdown role in the two-game series. Ellis was traded to Memorial Cup host Shawinigan on December 31st and his overall game took off. He finished the regular season scoring 8 goals with 19 assists and was +21 in 26 games for Shawinigan. Ellis was a force at both ends of the ice in the Cataractes’ two QJMHL playoff series. He scored 2 goals with five assists  in the first round while his defense partner, Brandon Gormley (PHX) was out with an ankle injury. In the seven-game second-round series against Chicoutimi, he scored 2 goals with 2 assists, finishing with 11 points in 11 playoff games, with a +14 plus/minus rating. The offensive defenseman was eighth place amongst all QJMHL defensemen in playoff scoring. Ellis and Shawinigan rebound from the loss to Chicoutimi in the Memorial Cup, winning the championship game in overtime. He scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was +3 with 6 penalty minutes in six Memorial Cup games. Ellis signed a three-year entry-level contract with Montreal in March 2012.

2012-13: Ellis played for Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton as a 20-year-old in his first pro season. Despite a nagging groin injury early in the year, he appeared in 71 games, most amongst Bulldogs defensemen. He scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was -16 with 57 penalty minutes. The Bulldogs missed the AHL playoffs after finishing last in the North Division.

 2013-14: Ellis skated for Montreal AHL affiliate Hamilton in his second pro season, missing time at the beginning of the year due to a groin injury and skating in 59 of 76 games. He scored 3 goals with 7 assists and was +4 with 36 penalty minutes. The Bulldogs missed the AHL playoffs, finishing fifth in the North Division. 

2014-15: Ellis played 27 games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs — splitting the season between Hamilton and the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers. He scored 3 goals with 6 assists and was +3 with 13 penalty minutes skating for the Bulldogs. Ellis was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for the Nailers. He scored 13 goals with 13 assists and was -13 with 22 penalty minutes. Wheeling finished fourth in the North Division, falling to Toledo in a seven-game first-round playoff series. Ellis was -2 with 2 assists and no penalties in five playoff games. He was re-signed to a one-year contract by Montreal as a restricted free agent in June 2015. 

2015-16: Ellis made his NHL debut with the Canadiens in a March 3rd game against Anaheim, skating in three games with Montreal in his fourth pro season. He had no points and an even plus/minus with 2 penalty minutes, averaging nine minutes of ice time with the Canadiens. Ellis was the fourth-leading scorer for Montreal AHL affiliate St. John’s, leading all IceCaps defensemen in goals (16) and assists (26). He was +2 with 51 penalty minutes in 73 games for St. John’s. The IceCaps missed the AHL playoffs, finishing fifth in the North Division.

Talent Analysis

Ellis portrays exceptional qualities of a two-way defenceman. In his own end, he plays a physical brand of hockey and is not shy when it comes to getting involved in the play and asserting himself. At the same time, he plays with a cool and calm demeanor, never letting players get the best of him. He has a natural ability to move the puck up the ice with ease, possesses a good first pass, and has a good wrist shot from the point. He can play in all situations at the pro level. He will need to work on remaining consistent through a full 60-minute effort and learn to remain physically engaged at all times.

Future

Ellis made his NHL debut late in his fourth pro season, skating in three games with Montreal in March 2016 after spending the 2015-16 season with the AHL's St. John's IceCaps. An attacking defenseman who has steadily worked to refine his defensive game, Ellis' skill set suggests he can have some value as a lower pairing defenseman and power play quarterback. He is equally likely to play out his career at the minor pro level or earn a lucrative offer to play in the KHL or elsewhere in Europe.

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