Nashville Predators defenceman Ryan Ellis will be out four to six months as he recovers from surgery to repair a lower body injury.

The Predators made the announcement on Thursday.

The hope is that Ellis will return to the lineup sometime around January, but this one will certainly sting as Nashville gets set for the 2017-2018 NHL season.

“The initial prognosis on this type of a knee injury is four to six months,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “Right now, we feel and the doctor feels it’s going to take the full six months for him to recover. Ryan’s not skating yet. He probably will be skating in approximately another three weeks, and the recovery will go from there. We don’t expect him back until the end of the (calendar) year, maybe the new year, maybe right around Christmastime.”

The 26-year-old blueliner had a career-high 38 points last season, including 16 goals and 22 assists. He collected 11 points on the power play, including four goals.

In 22 playoff games, Ellis had 13 points and averaged 23:25 of ice time a game.

He was drafted by the Predators 11th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and has since been a fixture on the blueline. The Hamilton native is a great skater and can move the puck quickly, plus he has a boomer of a point shot.

In late June, Ellis was reportedly seen with a brace on his right leg that was due to a “minor procedure.” It is unknown if there is a connection, but the Predators did not disclose what injury he suffered in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final.

Nashville will also be without forward Nick Bonino, who has an undisclosed injury and will not skate in any preseason games. He may be ready for the season opener on October 5, however.

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