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June 26, 2009

Ryan Ellis


Q. Talk about being a Predator.
RYAN ELLIS: It's very exciting. Didn't quite expect it. I couldn't be happier. It's a great place to play hockey and grow up, and I'm very excited to be headed to Nashville.

Q. Caps off a very exciting year for you, Team Canada, Memorial Cup with the Spitfires. Tell us about your season.
RYAN ELLIS: It's been crazy and a long year but from start to finish, it's been unbelievable. Under 18s, World Juniors, Memorial Cup and this just tops it off. Being a Predator, I could not be happier with the pick.

Q. Did you think the season with Windsor helped you prepare for the draft?
RYAN ELLIS: I think so. I think I didn't have to think about it as long as some of the other guys. I had playoffs and whatnot to worry about.
I feel bad for the other guys who were thinking about it for a few months, but for myself it's been a whirlwind and it's been crazy the last few weeks and finally it's all come to an end and a new journey begins.

Q. Talk about the pressure being on a team --
RYAN ELLIS: It's great. I think I'm going to have to earn my spot. I always have had to do that, so I think they have got a lot of talent in the back end and a lot of talent up front.
It's going to be an exciting few years and hopefully I can get into the uniform as soon as possible, but if I have to be back in Windsor, there's going to be exciting as well.

Q. Inaudible.
RYAN ELLIS: I just had the one at the Combine.

Q. You're shaping up for another good run, any thoughts on the team next year?
RYAN ELLIS: I think so. Some say we may be better than last year but you can't really say that until we win another Memorial Cup. We have a lot of young kids coming in and guys my age, as well. It's going to be exciting and I think it's going to be fun for the fans next year.

Q. What about the talent of the NHL in general that's been selected ahead of you, just talk about the caliber of the League and the guys that are being taken today.
RYAN ELLIS: Oh, it's great. I think that's been a lot of top picks that have come out of the OHL and also the CHL. It just goes to show how our league has developed over the last few years and I think there's going to be another few picks in the next few minutes that are hopefully from the OHL. I wish everyone all the best.

Q. Talk about playing hockey in the south. You mention it's a good place to grow up. What do you know about Nashville?
RYAN ELLIS: I know it's big for country music and I know my coach, Bob Buckner, he played in Nashville for a bit when they started out. I know he said it's a great place to live and it's a place that they love hockey down there and it's going to get bigger and bigger hopefully.
I know Chad Piccard (ph), he's the goalie there. So it's going to be exciting going to already know someone there. It's going to be a great experience the next few months.

Q. You don't really know what team you're going to go to, but did you talk about teams you could possibly end up with with your coaches?
RYAN ELLIS: Yeah, I talked to my agent and coaches and there's a few teams all around the board I could have been to, but I think Nashville was one of them and I'm excited to be a Predator.

Q. Do you feel any pressure to become a face of the franchise?
RYAN ELLIS: I don't think so. I think I've got to go in and just try to play my best and be a part of the team and make them successful.
So if that does happen, then that's great, but I just want to come in and help that franchise out and hopefully make the playoffs and move on to hopefully the Stanley Cup one day.

Q. Did anybody ask you the obligatory what do you know about Tennessee question yet?
RYAN ELLIS: No, I haven't. But I don't know a whole lot. It's big for country music and that's about it, and my coach, he played there for a bit, so he's told me about the town. But I'll sure he'll tell me more later.

Q. Looking forward to playing with Shea Weber?
RYAN ELLIS: Yeah, that's the first thought that came to my mind, he had an unbelievable year last year scoring at will, and it's going to be exciting to meet him and if we do happen to run the power play together one day that would be very exciting. He's a great player and they have a lot of great D. Making that D core would be just an accomplishment in itself.

Q. How much of an impact --
RYAN ELLIS: I think it was a great run we had. I had a lot of fun doing that ask it was a great experience and couldn't be happier winning that, and with that group of guys, as well.
I think it definitely helped my stock out, I know I was rated 16th or somewhere around there and moved up a little higher than that which I'm happy to see but it's Nashville Predators all the way and I'm happy to be part of it.

Q. Do you think you're ready for the NHL?
RYAN ELLIS: I don't know, that's a tough question to say. I think I've got to be physically bigger and stronger and hopefully I can accomplish that over this summer. But we'll see what happens with that, and going into training camp, that's going to be the real test and that's when I'll see if I'm really ready for not.

Q. You're coaches and general manager are not small guys themselves. Have they given any tips on how to prepare?
RYAN ELLIS: All of our coaches actually are all defensemen, DJ Smith, Bob Buckner, it's going to be a great experience. They will tell me how it is and what I'm going to go through.
I think it's going to be something new for myself and I'm sure it's changed since they have been through the system. It's going to be different and I'm going to have a lot of fun doing it.

Q. Taylor Hall is going to be in this situation next year. Do you have any advice for him?
RYAN ELLIS: Yeah, I was actually sitting with him right now, he's right above me if you saw. He's going to be a very highly-touted guy. Imagine he'll go first or somewhere around there, I'm all excited for him and he's nervous today for myself and next year I'm sure I'll be nervous for him. He's handled pressure before and he handles it well. He'll be fine next year and he'll have a great season.

Q. Did you get a break at any point in time?
RYAN ELLIS: Not really. I don't think I want one really. It's been a whirlwind and I think that's the way live my life somewhat, it's been here, there, going to Russia and then Czech and coming back and going to the World Juniors and Memorial Cup and finally to top it off, being selected by Nashville. It's a great feeling and I'm just happy to be part of the franchise.

Q. Could you talk about your style of game and if there's a sort of NHL role model you aspire to reflect?
RYAN ELLIS: I'm an offensive defenseman. I think I do a lot of power play stuff, so I think playing with Shea Weber would be great for me. But I think someone who I compare myself to is Brian Rafalski, or Brian Campbell, one of the two. They are smaller guys, but they compete physically and they are offensive and very responsible on their own end, as well. I think that's who I would like to be compared to anyway.

Q. Is there a signature or trademark Ryan Ellis goal or move?
RYAN ELLIS: I think it's just slop shot, top of the corner. On the power play either a one-timer or something like that, that's always how I've scored goals. I'll get the odd one in close but it's mostly from the back end.

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