The Predators had a welcomed addition to their morning skate on Thursday.
Defenseman Ryan Ellis, who has missed the first 25 games of Nashville's season as he recovers from a knee injury, joined his teammates on the ice on Thursday morning, the first time he's skated with the full group since the Stanley Cup Final in June.
Ellis was on the ice prior to the skate taking shots on goaltender Anders Lindback and then remained on and participated in drills for the entirety of the session.
Prior to the start of training camp in September, Predators General Manager David Poile announced Ellis would miss several months due to offseason knee surgery and expected the defenseman to return to game action around Christmastime or the start of the new year.
Following the morning skate, Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said Ellis remains "on track" in his recovery to return in the timetable stated in September, meaning Ellis will likely need approximately 4-5 more weeks before returning to the Nashville lineup.
"It brought a big smile to my face, I know that," Nashville center Ryan Johansen said of seeing Ellis on the ice. "It's exciting for us as a team to see him getting closer and closer to coming back."