Ryan Ellis
North American Skater - Windsor, OHL
Final Rank:16Midterm Rank:15
Height:5' 9"Weight:173
Born:January 3, 1991
Born in:Hamilton, ON, CAN
Drafted: 2009: NSH (1st Round / 11th Overall) 

On his style of play: I'm an offensive defenseman for sure. I'm undersized. People kind of think I'm a little smaller for a defensive game, but I think I try to be responsible in my own end as well as sometimes lead the rush and try to chip in offensively as much as I can. I'm a power-play kind of guy. I like to get out there and get a few points here and there. Other than that, I think I just try to be a well-rounded defenseman.

On patterning his game: It's Brian Rafalski for the most part and a little bit of Kris Russell, who is in Columbus. I think both are undersized guys and are a little underrated too. They don't get the justice for how good they really are for being undersized. I think they're great puck-moving defensemen, very poised and calm with the puck. They have a lot of offensive upside as well. I think that makes them that much better than the rest of the defensemen there.

On being told he’s too small and using it as motivation: I've got that most of my career. I'm still getting it nowadays. It's not an issue. I don't find a problem with being undersized. I think there have been a lot of players who have been undersized in the last few years that have been drafted high. I think it's not an issue with any players these days, especially the rules and how they're made to fit players like my size. And I think it just motivates me knowing that people think I can't do it and hopefully one day I'll prove them wrong.

On getting his start in hockey: I lived outside London, Ontario for a while, till I was about eight. Small town, only a couple thousand people there -- it was a really small town and small community. Everyone knew each other. I grew up playing hockey there for the most part. I finally moved back to Hamilton, where I'm from and it just kind of picked up from there. I got into some AAA hockey and after that, it's kind of just history.

On where his passion for the game grew: It was mainly just in the driveway. I think I spent a lot of time there and had a few neighbors I played with. My dad as well put a lot of time and effort into the moves in the driveway. They kind of just translated to my game and got more and more comfortable in hockey and just playing. It just kind of started all there. I thank my dad for all the time he spent with me there, the friends that have put time and effort with me. It's been a lot of fun growing up.

On his hockey idol’s growing up: There’s been different ones. I was a forward to start. So there were always names like Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic. I think as I moved to defense, there was Rob Blake and people like that who were just kind of the big-game players. When I got older, I finally realized who I wanted to be like and players I should try to model my game after, it became players like Brian Rafalski.

On playing for Team Canada: It's a special time anytime you're wearing your country's jersey. And wherever you get to don that, it's a lot of fun. I think I've had some good coaches and played with a lot of good players. Luckily I've been able to win (international tournaments) a few times and I've had a great experience going overseas from the first time. Playing in front of your home country, as well, was also something special. Anytime you're wearing that (Canadian jersey), it's a great time.

On the World Junior Championships in 2009: It was something special for sure. I think the Russian game just goes to show we never give up and how Canadians play hockey. Winning that gold medal meant a lot to this country and a lot to the players especially.

On the possibility of being drafted: I'm trying to kind of stick that in the back of my mind for the most part. But whenever you're thinking about it, it's pretty cool, knowing that you have a chance to be drafted in the NHL, there might be a team out there for you. It's an awesome experience to go through; just growing up as a kid and finally realizing the level you've gotten to, the opportunities you have to continue your NHL career and your hockey career. It's just a lot of fun being a part of this.

On his superstitions: I have a couple. I think I'm pretty superstitious, but I think most of them are just routines, for the most part. I have a couple with teammates in Windsor that I do, just a couple on my own. I try to keep things similar to the night before to kind of keep everything rolling. It's more routine for me, rather than superstitions.