Former Cape Breton West Islander Colten Ellis signs with St. Louis Blues

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI: Colten Ellis has a fresh NHL contract.

The St. Louis Blues announced on their social media channels the signing of the River Denys goaltender to a three-year entry-level contact on March 1 that will begin in the 2021-22 season.

“Can’t put into words how excited I am to have signed my first NHL contract with the St. Louis Blues,” Ellis posted on his personal Instagram account. “I can’t thank my family, friends, coaches, billet families and so many more people (enough) for all they have done to help me get to this point.”

The 20-year-old said it wouldn’t have been possible for him to ink his first contract without the support from those closest to him.

“There’s so many people that contributed to this contract,” Ellis told Jason Malloy of The Guardian. “This wasn’t just me signing this. I don’t know where I would be without my parents and my family. Right from the start, it sounds cliché to say it, but (they were) waking up early to take me to practice.”

Drafted by the Blues in the third round, 93 overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound goaltender has split the past four Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) seasons with the Charlottetown Islanders and Rimouski Océanic, posting a 96-31-11 career record.

Ellis was originally drafted by his hometown team, the Cape Breton Eagles in the fourth round of the 2016 QMJHL Draft, and went on to be named to the QMJHL All-Rookie team and the Second All-Star team in 2017-18, and was the one who backstopped the Cape Breton West Islanders to a Telus Cup national championship in 2017.

Earlier this year, Ellis tied a QMJHL record for most consecutive wins by a goaltender to start a season with 12 games, tying records set by Pierre Pérusse in 1972 and Louis Domingue in 2010. He also set a Charlottetown Islanders franchise record for eight consecutive wins.

In only 17 games played during a season that has been riddled with COVID-19 restrictions and interruptions, Ellis has remained red hot starting the season 16-1-0, leading the QMJHL in wins.

Ellis has strong numbers between the pipes; most notably he has recorded five shutouts on the year and currently sits second on the all-time QMJHL shutout list with 16.

Posting an impressive 1.89 goals-against average, the former Cape Breton West Islander ranks second among all goaltenders, while his .922 save-percentage ranks third, and the last time he’s had a losing season was when he was 15-years-old.