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Ryan Ellis named top OHL defenseman

NEWS RELEASES ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE ************************ Ryan Ellis Named OHL Defenceman of the Year Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires is the Max Kaminsky Trophy winner as the OHL’s M




Ryan Ellis Named OHL Defenceman of the Year

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires is the Max Kaminsky Trophy winner as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenceman for the 2008-09 season.

Ellis, an 18-year-old from Freelton, Ontario, led all OHL defencemen in scoring in just his second OHL season with 22 goals and a league-high 67 assists for 89 points in 57 games. His 89 points ranked him seventh overall in league scoring. He finished the season with a plus-minus rating of plus-52 which was the second best total in the league. Ellis was selected by the Spitfires in the second round, 22nd overall at the 2007 OHL Priority Selection. Ellis had 27 multi-point games and had a 15-game point scoring streak that began February 1 and stretched until March 8. He had a career-best five-point game with one goal and four assists October 30 as second star in a 7-4 win over the London Knights, leading to a Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week honour for the week ending November 2. He was also named the Kal Tire OHL Defenceman of the Month for October, February, and March. Ellis ranked first in three Western Conference Coaches Poll categories including Smartest Player, Hardest Shot, and Best Offensive Defenceman.

"As much as this is an individual award, we have great forwards and great goaltending that I couldn't have won this without them" said Ellis.

"It has been great to watch him develop" said Spitfires Head Coach Bob Boughner. "He has great natural skill, a hard shot, just a really complete player but he is also our shut-down defenceman and a great student and teammate off the ice as well."

This season Ellis competed for Team OHL at the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge in November before being selected to represent Canada at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa where he won a gold medal with Team Canada. Eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Ellis also competed at the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game for Team Orr this past January in Oshawa. He represented the Spitfires and the Western Conference on home-ice at the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic in Windsor.

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL general managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for their own nominee. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Ellis received 67 points in the voting process ahead of runner-up P.K Subban of the Belleville Bulls with 57 points, and Cameron Gaunce of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors who finished third with 38 points.

Former winners of the award include Denis Potvin (Ottawa 1971-72 and 1972-73), Al MacInnis (Kitchener 1982-83), Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1992-93), Bryan Berard (Detroit 1994-95 and 1995-96), and Marc Staal (Sudbury 2006-07). Drew Doughty won the award last season as a member of the Guelph Storm. Ellis is just the second member of the Windsor Spitfires hockey club to win this award following Darryl Shannon who won the award in the 1987-88 season.

The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston, and Montreal. After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catherine's Teepees in 1960.

Ellis will be presented with the award at the 2008-09 OHL Awards Ceremony taking place on Wednesday June 3, 2009, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.


Spitfires’ Ellis named Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that defenceman Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires is the Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week for the week ending April 19. Ellis led the OHL with seven points including two goals and five assists in three games with a plus minus rating of plus-1.

Ellis and the Spitfires opened the Rogers Western Conference Championship Series Wednesday night at home to the London Knights. Trailing 3-1 to the Knights in game one, Ellis led the charge in the third period with a power play blast from the point to bring the Spits to within one. He assisted on an Andrei Loktionov power play goal one minute later which tied the game. In overtime on the power play, Ellis rifled another shot from the point through traffic which found the back of the net to give the Spitfires a 4-3 win. With three points, Ellis was named first star of the game. Game two shifted to London Friday night where the Knights evened the series at one game apiece with a 6-5 overtime win. Ellis contributed two assists in the second period despite the loss. On Sunday night back in Windsor, Ellis had another two assists as he set up the game-tying goal at 18:09 of the third period and the overtime winner at 8:52 of the extra frame to give the Spitfires a 5-4 win and a 2-1 series lead over the Knights.

Ellis, an 18-year-old from Freelton, ON, is in his second OHL season and is currently tied for first in league playoff scoring with teammate Taylor Hall with 24 points including eight goals and 16 assists in 13 games. He is ranked 16th overall amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft which takes place this June.

Also considered for the award this week is Nick Palmieri of the Belleville Bulls who scored three goals and three assists in three games with a week highlighted by a five-point game Sunday night in a 6-2 win over the Brampton Battalion. His hat-trick and two assists gave him first star of the game honours as the Bulls grabbed a win in the Rogers Eastern Conference Championship Series where they trail the Battalion 2-1. John Carlson of the London Knights also scored three goals and three assists in three games. In goal, Andrew Engelage of the Windsor Spitfires won two games and lost one in overtime making 96 saves in three games.

2008-09 Boston Pizza OHL Players of the Week

Apr. 20 – Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires Apr. 13 – Eric Tangradi, Belleville Bulls Apr. 6 – Dale Mitchell, Windsor Spitfires Mar. 30 – Chris Terry, Plymouth Whalers Mar. 23 – Taylor Hall, Windsor Spitfires Mar. 16 – Logan Couture, Ottawa 67’s Mar. 9 – John Tavares, London Knights Mar. 2 – Mark Katic, Sarnia Sting Feb. 23 – Matt Caria, Plymouth Whalers Feb. 16 – Jeff Skinner, Kitchener Rangers Feb. 9 – Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers Feb. 2 – Cody Hodgson, Brampton Battalion Jan. 26 – Thomas McCollum, Brampton Battalion Jan. 19 – Brett Parnham, Oshawa Generals Jan. 12 – Marcus Carroll, Owen Sound Attack Jan. 5 – Eric O’Dell, Sudbury Wolves Dec. 15 – Cameron Gaunce, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors Dec. 8 – John Tavares, Oshawa Generals Dec. 1 – John Tavares, Oshawa Generals Nov. 24 – Eric Tangradi, Belleville Bulls Nov. 17 – Mathew Sisca, Niagara IceDogs Nov. 10 – Cody Hodgson, Brampton Battalion Nov. 3 – Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires Oct. 27 – Taylor Hall, Windsor Spitfires Oct. 20 – Brandon Foote, Brampton Battalion Oct. 13 – Justin DiBenedetto, Sarnia Sting Oct. 6 – Stefan Della Rovere, Barrie Colts Sept. 29 – Luke Pither, Guelph Storm Sept. 22 – Matt Lyall, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds