Ellis inks two-year pact with Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings, NHL affiliate of the Grand Rapids Griffins, on Wednesday announced the signing of center Matt Ellis to a two-year contract.

Ellis, 23, enjoyed a breakout season with the Griffins in 2004-05. He ranked third on the club with 18 goals and placed fourth with 23 assists and 41 points (tied), while appearing in 79 of the team’s 80 games.

Arguably the Griffins’ top two-way performer last season, Ellis finished second on the team and first among its forwards with a plus-10 rating. A key member of Grand Rapids’ penalty killing unit, he equaled a franchise record and tied for sixth in the AHL with four shorthanded goals. Two of those came on March 12 against Hamilton, when he matched a team record and set a home standard for most shorthanded goals in a game.

In his two seasons in Grand Rapids, Ellis has posted 56 points (23g, 33a) in 143 games. His four shorthanded goals (T-6th) and 370 shots (8th) both place him among the Griffins’ all-time leaders.

After signing with Detroit as a free agent on May 10, 2002, Ellis logged his first pro campaign with ECHL Toledo in 2002-03, pacing the Storm with 27 goals.