After competing in development camp
EAST BIDEFORD – Hockey never ends for East Bideford’s Morgan Ellis.
Sure, he was home for about a month after the Hamilton Bulldogs’ American Hockey League (AHL) season ended, but since then he’s been working out at the Canadiens’ practice facility.
Last week, he attended his fourth Canadiens’ development camp, and such events never get old.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said the 21 year-old son of Glen and June Ellis. “You get to meet some new guys.”
The camps, he admitted, involve long workdays, starting shortly after a 5:30 a.m. wake-up, and ending when the players get back to their rooms around 8 p.m.
“Long days on the ice, just working on your skills, your skating,” he explained. “You have practices and games and workouts; seminars about eating right and looking after your body.”
Ellis will be back home for a week during the Tyne Valley Oyster Festival.
“I try to always make it home for the Oyster Festival, because it’s a good community festival for getting everyone out,” Ellis said. “It’s nice to get back to that and see all your family and friends and relatives that are coming over to it.”
Ellis, a six-foot-two and 200-pound defenceman, had four goals and four assists during 71 games in his first season with the Canadiens’ AHL farm team, the Hamilton Bulldogs.
He had played 3 1/2 seasons with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s (QMJHL) Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, where he registered 19 goals and 77 assists in 211 regular-season games. He was traded to the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes partway through the 2011-12 season, and logged eight goals and 19 assists in 26 regular-season games with them. Although the Cataractes suffered a premature exit from the playoffs that year, they hosted the Memorial Cup championship and went on to win that tournament, a climactic ending to Ellis’s junior career.
“It’s a lot of fun. You get to meet some new guys.” Morgan Ellis
This is Ellis’ second summer of training in Montreal. Last year, he sustained a torn hip muscle late in the summer. He was healthy in time for the Bulldogs’ training camp, but the NHL lockout took away his chance at an NHL camp last year.
This year, he is banking on staying healthy and having a good rookie camp with the Canadiens in September. While making the Canadiens’ roster remains his ultimate goal, he admits he first has to have a good rookie camp.
“You want to make the main camp,” said Ellis. “A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to play an exhibition game.
“Hopefully, I will have a good camp and play a couple more exhibition games, hopefully play good and then you never know what’s going to happen.”