Morgan Ellis enjoyed AHL’s all-star experience

Eric McCarthy
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East Bideford native having break-out year

ST. JOHN’S, NL -- In this, his fourth season in the American Hockey League, the points output for East Bideford P.E.I.’s Morgan Ellis is almost equal to his total for his first three seasons. 

Morgan Ellis in action with the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League.

In 157 league games from the 2012-13 to 2014-15 seasons with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Ellis amassed 20 goals and 17 assists.

So far this season, in 45 games with the St. John’s IceCaps, Ellis has 10 goals and 14 assists. His plus 12 rating, for goals scored while he is on the ice, is best on the team.

Ellis’s stinginess in his own end, coupled with his output on the point earned him an invitation to last weekend’s AHL All-Star Classic in Syracuse, NY.

“It was a cool experience,” Ellis said Tuesday while en route to Cape Breton for a short visit before rejoining the IceCaps for games at home this Friday and Saturday against the Utica Comets. The IceCaps and the Comets are part of a four-team cluster battling it out for third place in the North Division.

“You get to see the top players on the other teams. A lot of those teams I’ve never played yet in my career, just the way the schedule goes.”

He described the experience as laid back and fun.

In three mini games he earned one assist for the North Division. Their 1-2 round kept them out of the final.

The 23 year-old acknowledged family and friends who attended the all-star classic and expressed thanks to the many people who have passed along their best wishes.

Among those in attendance were his finance, her mother and friend and his mother and aunt. His father wanted to attend, too, but a snowstorm meant he had to stay home and open driveways.

“It killed him not to be there but, hopefully, there are other opportunities like this along the road, and I will definitely be bringing him if I can,” the 6’1”, 207-pound defenceman said. “I told him if I ever get a chance this year to get called up (to the NHL) to get a game, I will be getting him to the game, for sure, regardless if there is snow on the ground or not.”

Ellis competed in the Classic’s hardest shot competition during Sunday’s skills showcase and registered one shot at 100 miles per hour, the third hardest of all competitors, and second hardest on Team East. His numbers helped Team East win that competition. His second shot in the competition lit the lamp at 97 miles per hour.

“That was always my thing,” he said of his point shot. “If I were on the powerplay guys would set me up for a one-timer.”

Those opportunities have been happening with increasing frequency this season, he acknowledged.

“That’s another thing, just playing with skilled guys and they’re finding you,” he said. “You’re getting lucky, putting some pucks in the back of the net, so they’re looking for you a little more.”

Ellis split the 2014-15 season between the Bull Dogs and the East Coast Hockey League’s Wheeling Nailers.

“I was just trying to get my confidence back,” he said of his 39-game stint with the Nailers. “When I was called back up to Hamilton, I figured I had nothing to lose; I may as well try to make some plays and play with confidence. I was able to do that and I was able to play pretty well.

“My goal going into this season was just to try to continue where I left off at the end of last season and. So far I have been able to do that, which is nice.”

Organizations: IceCaps, AHL All-Star Classic, NHL East Coast Hockey League

Geographic location: East Bideford, Syracuse, NY, Cape Breton Team East

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