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Preds Prospect Report: Nov. 16

by Bryan Mullen / Nashville Predators
Out of all the prospects in Nashville’s system, the one player who seems to gain the most attention from Predators fans is Ryan Ellis.

It’s with good reason. The 20-year-old defenseman had a highly decorated junior career and earned just about every honor there is. The Preds selected him with the first pick (11th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. After a solid training camp this season, Ellis (5-9, 179) started the year in Milwaukee and has played well. In 12 games, he has eight points (three goals, five assists) and is sixth on the team in shots.

“He’s got great hockey sense,” Milwaukee coach Kirk Muller said. “For players who come out of juniors, sometimes it can be a struggle. But he has the skill and the hockey sense to play at any level. Now he’s just got to learn how the game is different at the pro level. It’s simplifying the game, making the simple plays. Guys that dominate in college or in juniors can sometimes get into some habits. I think he is finding here that it’s a pretty good league, and with the shortened shifts, he has to play at a higher tempo. When he does that, his instincts will kick in during the key times at games. He’s capable of doing that. He’s starting to recognize that now. It’s preparing him for this level, and for the future of his career.”

Here’s a look at some other prospects…

American Hockey League
F Kyle Wilson, Milwaukee: Leading the Admirals in points (11) and assists (seven).
F Juuso Puustinen, F Ryan Thang, Milwaukee: Tied for team lead in goals with five.
G Jeremy Smith, Milwaukee: 7-2-1, 1.98 goals against average, .925 save percentage, ranks among the AHL league leaders in Wins, GAA, and SV%.

Canadian Hockey League
F Austin Watson, Peterborough (OHL): 17 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 20 games.
D Charles-Olivier Roussel (Saint John, QMJHL): Had five points (one goal, four assists) in four games last week. Tied for second in QMJHL in +/- rating (+22).
F Josh Shalla, Saginaw (OHL): Returned to action with two goals and two assists in three games last week. Has missed most of the start to this season playing in just six games so far, after scoring 47 goals and 72 points in 68 games last season.

RW Cameron Reid (St. Cloud State, WCHA): Had nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last eight games.
C Chase Balisy (Western Michigan, CCHA): Tied for sixth in the CCHA in points with 12.
RW Zach Budish (University of Minnesota, WCHA): Tied for 11th in WCHA in assists (eight) and power play goals (two).

European elite leagues took a break last week for the 2011 Karjala Tournament, which took place Nov. 10-13. Finland, Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic participated, and Russia won the event. Alexander Radulov won the top scorer award and was named to the tournament’s All-Star team. He finished with four goals and one assist in three games.

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