Nashville Predators Executive Vice President/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the club has signed free-agent forward Shane Willis (WIH-lis) and free-agent goaltender Dan Ellis (EH-lihs) to one-year contracts. The club has also re-signed defenseman Nolan Yonkman (YAWNK-man) to a one-year contract.
Willis, 30 (6/13/77), posted 43 points (20g-23a) in 43 games with the American Hockey League’s Albany River Rats in 2006-07. The 6-1, 195-pound Edmonton, Alta. native registered 74 points (31g-43a) in 174 career NHL games with Carolina and Tampa Bay from 1998-2004. Willis was originally Tampa Bay’s third selection, 56th overall (second round), in the 1995 Entry Draft but re-entered the draft and was taken with Carolina’s fourth choice, 88th overall (fourth round), in 1997.
Willis will be paid $475,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the minor-league level.
Ellis, 27 (6/19/80), went 30-21-1 with a 2.78 goals-against average in 55 games with the AHL’s Iowa Stars in 2006-07. The 6-0, 186-pound Orangeville, Ont. native appeared in one game with Dallas in 2003-04. Ellis was the Stars’ second selection, 60th overall (second round), in the 2000 Entry Draft.
Ellis will be paid $500,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the minor-league level.
Yonkman, 26 (4/1/81), registered 13 points (3g-10a) and 113 penalty minutes with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2006-07. The 6-6, 236-pound blueliner notched seven assists and 86 penalty minutes in 38 games for the Capitals in 2005-06. Yonkman has played 50 career NHL games, posting eight points (1g-7a) and 90 penalty minutes.
Yonkman will be paid $450,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the minor-league level.