Flyers unsure if Ellis will be ready by training camp
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher emphasized that Ryan Ellis' lengthy injury rehab is progressing well, but the executive is uncertain if the veteran defenseman will start training camp in September.
"I don't know how anyone could predict that right now," Fletcher told the media Wednesday. "That's certainly the hope and the goal. We'll have to see. He's starting to ramp up the rehab, which is great that he's at the point where he can ramp it up, but we'll just have to see how everything responds."
The Flyers made waves after acquiring Ellis from the Nashville Predators in exchange for blue-liner Philippe Myers and forward Nolan Patrick last summer, but their splashiest offseason addition didn't quite pan out in 2021-22.
Injury limited Ellis to just four games. He suited up for the Flyers' first three games of the season and chipped in with one goal and three assists, but he missed the next nine games with a lower-body ailment.
The 31-year-old slotted back into the lineup on Nov. 13, but he aggravated the issue and ended up missing the remainder of the campaign. Ellis' initial return timetable in November was four-to-six weeks.
Fletcher called Ellis' ailment "multilayered," noting that it involves "almost everything" in the middle of his body, and added that Ellis is exactly where the doctors thought he would be at this point in his recovery.
"He's determined to get back and not just play, but be a good hockey player, be the player that we wanted him to be when we acquired him," Fletcher said.
Ellis averaged 23:46 of ice time with the Predators in 2020-21. Meanwhile, 25-year-old rearguard Ivan Provorov led Philadelphia in ice time this season after playing almost 25 minutes per game.
The Flyers struggled to a last-place finish in the Metropolitan Division in 2021-22 and were the unfortunate owners of the third-worst goal differential in the league (-87).
Ellis, the Predators' 11th overall draft pick in 2009, has 76 goals and 199 assists in 566 career NHL games.