(Photo via getty images)
On Thursday, April 7, it was announced that Providence Friars starting goalie, Nick Ellis, has inked a two-year entry level contract with the Edmonton Oilers. He now becomes the eighth Providence player from the 2015-16 season to sign either an entry level contract or amateur tryout agreement. Providence has lost a lot of players after this past season, and will have to look and bounce back after an off-season filled with losses.
Ellis was the full-time starter this season for the first time, after backing up goaltender Jon Gillies last season, who has now been in the Flames organization for two seasons. In his first year as the main man in net, Ellis started 36 games and put forth the best statistical season in Friars history. The team went 25-7-4 with him in net, as he posted a 1.80 goals against average and a .936 save percentage. Clearly losing Ellis is a huge hit to the Friars, but maybe not the demise of the team either. Luckily for the Friars, they have rising-sophomore, and draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens, Hayden Hawkey, waiting for his turn to take over the Friar crease.
Hawkey started two games and played in three other games during his freshman campaign for the Friars, and logged 179:35 in ice time. He posted a solid 1.67 goals against average and a .940 save percentage. In games that Hawkey started, the team went 2-0-0.
Yes, Nick Ellis will be tremendously missed by all of Friartown, as many people looked at him as our brightest star, but it is not over for the Friars. There is far too much talent at Providence for this team not to have a successful season in the 2016-17 campaign.
– K. Troy