25-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Keaton Ellerby Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2014.
Ellerby (lower body) is expected to miss his third straight game, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports.
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Keaton Ellerby: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
A first-round pick of the Panthers' from 2007, Ellerby has not yet shown the promise Florida was hoping for when they made him the 10th overall selection. Ellerby was in and out of the lineup last season due to minor injuries and being a healthy scratch; he managed no goals and five assists in 40 contests and has scored just twice in 115 career NHL games. He's still young, turning 24 shortly after the season begins, but Florida would like to see some production from him. If he can start playing consistently, he's worth remembering in deep keeper leagues.
While he isn't on the same level as Panthers' blueline phenom Dmitri Kulikov, Ellerby is one of the better prospects in Florida's system. Last season, with the Rochester Americans of the AHL, Ellerby potted six goals to compliment 13 assists and 34 penalty minutes in 58 contests. He also appeared in 22 games with the Panthers, but went scoreless. Ellerby bulked up in the offseason so that he can be more physical, a move that could go along way for Ellerby in the 2010-11 season.
Heís still considered a long-range prospect at the tender age of 20, but his game isnít as offensively oriented as fantasy owners would like. Ellerby pitched in 23 points in his first AHL season, and he may get some NHL time this season. But the long-term possibilities are just that.
Easily the best blue line prospect in the system, Ellerby is probably a couple of seasons away from the NHL. Heís got a big frame that needs to fill out, and not enough offensive ability to rely on being one-dimensional.
The Panthers' first-round pick from the summer is not a candidate to break camp in the NHL for a little while. While he's a good skater, Ellerby has some filling out to do and should be placed back in WHL Kamloops.
Ellerby is one of those kids who raises more questions than gives answers. He's big (6'4") and can skate but his mental approach to the game draws a lot of curious looks. Another boom-or-bust pick from 2007, Ellerby needs to bring it to the rink every single day. If he does, he could be a true bad ass -- a guy who could his 50 points and 200 penalty minutes in a single season. If he doesn't, he's going to have to fit that ass of his into the small seats on an AHL or ECHL bus.