Junior hockey star Ryan Ellis of Freelton is the Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year for 2009.
His selection was announced this week at the 25th Annual CYO Dinner at the Hamilton Convention Centre. The 19-year-old Ellis beat out two other finalists – Queen’s Gaels Vanier Cup winning quarterback Danny Brannagan of Burlington and Hamilton marathoner Reid Coolsaet. Ellis becomes the 15th GHAY and was presented with the Bill Sturrup Trophy.
Ellis was the Nashville Predators first pick (11th overall) in the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He was a member of Team Canada which won the World Junior Hockey Championship in Ottawa. He was among the top defencemen in the event recording seven points in six games. Ellis was a member of the 2009 Master Card Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires and was named to the Championship All-Star Team.
Standing 5-10 and weighing just 170 pounds – considered undersized for a defenseman – the right-hand shooting Ellis was chosen to play for Team West in the Subway Ontario Hockey League All-Star Classic in Windsor. In his second straight All-Star appearance he collected two assists. He won the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the OHL’s top defenseman. He led ALL OHL defensemen in scoring during the playoffs, with 31 points in 20 games while in the regular season he led the entire OHL with 67 assists, to go with 22 goals.
Ellis was second in the entire league with a plus/minus rating of +52 and was named OHL Defenseman of the Month in February and March.