The Final Grade: Keaton Ellerby

Each day we are going to give you the Final Grade on the Florida Panthers roster. The members here known as The Rat Pack will rotate daily until we have completed our assessment of bodies talent players. Today’s Final Grade Report is on Keaton Ellerby.

How Acquired: Drafted 10th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft

Position: Defense

Age: 22

2010-2011 Season Stats:
Florida: 54 Games: 2 goals, 10 assist, 12 point, -15
Rochester: 17 Games: 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, +8

2011-2012 Contract Situation: Signed 1 year 875,000 Dollar Deal (April 27th, 2010)

Review:

After spending most of the 2009-2010 season with the Rochester Americans, Keaton Ellerby was ready to show this season that he wanted to spend his time with the Florida Panthers. The first thing which he accomplished to impress management was, he returned to training camp 20 pounds heavier than when he had left. His motive was to hopefully obtain a permanent position on the Panthers blueline. He managed to secure a total of 54 games win the Cats, more than doubling his 22 games in the 09-10 season. He spent most of his time with fellow paired with youngster Dmitry Kulikov. Head coach Pete DeBoer limited his ice time at the start of the season as he averaged around 13-minutes a game. But, after the Panthers departed with Captain Bryan McCabe and Bryan Allen, Ellerby became the go-to guy on the blueline, and averaged around 19 minute a game. After the regular season had ended, management proved that they were interested in keeping this guy around, to see if he can handle a big role on the blueline by signing him, making him the first of Florida’s 8-Restricted Free Agents to re-sign.

Overall Grade: A Clearly, Ellerby has shown that he wants to play a big role on this defensive line. He, along with management hope that he can develop into a great leader on this team. His new one-way contract gives him confidence that he will not likely be sent back to the AHL, therefore he can focus on playing his best and stepping up on this young Panthers team. He has shown us that he is ready to work, and that he is ready to start clocking some big ice time night in and night out. Hopefully, with a little more hard work he can become the next Jay Bouwmeester of the Florida Panthers (he already has taken his old number). The confidence and work ethic has already been shown, now the opportunity is there for him to take, and run with.

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