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The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires is the Max Kaminsky Trophy winner as the OHL's Most Outstanding Defenceman for the 2008-09 season.

Ellis, an 18-year-old from Freelton, Ontario, led all OHL defencemen in scoring in just his second OHL season with 22 goals and a league-high 67 assists for 89 points in 57 games. His 89 points ranked him seventh overall in league scoring. He finished the season with a plus-minus rating of plus-52 which was the second best total in the league. Ellis was selected by the Spitfires in the second round, 22nd overall at the 2007 OHL Priority Selection.

Ellis had 27 multi-point games and had a 15-game point scoring streak that began February 1 and stretched until March 8. He had a career-best five-point game with one goal and four assists October 30 as second star in a 7-4 win over the London Knights, leading to a Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week honour for the week ending November 2. He was also named the Kal Tire OHL Defenceman of the Month for October, February, and March. Ellis ranked first in three Western Conference Coaches Poll categories including Smartest Player, Hardest Shot, and Best Offensive Defenceman.

This season Ellis competed for Team OHL at the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge in November before being selected to represent Canada at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa where he won a gold medal with Team Canada. Eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Ellis also competed at the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game for Team Orr this past January in Oshawa. He represented the Spitfires and the Western Conference on home-ice at the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic in Windsor.

The Max Kaminsky Trophy is awarded each year to the Most Outstanding Defenceman as selected by OHL general managers. Teams were not permitted to vote for their own nominee. Players received five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Ellis received 67 points in the voting process ahead of runner-up P.K Subban of the Belleville Bulls with 57 points, and Cameron Gaunce of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors who finished third with 38 points.

Former winners of the award include Denis Potvin (Ottawa 1971-72 and 1972-73), Al MacInnis (Kitchener 1982-83), Chris Pronger (Peterborough 1992-93), Bryan Berard (Detroit 1994-95 and 1995-96), and Marc Staal (Sudbury 2006-07). Drew Doughty won the award last season as a member of the Guelph Storm. Ellis is just the second member of the Windsor Spitfires hockey club to win this award following Darryl Shannon who won the award in the 1987-88 season.

The award is named in recognition of Max Kaminsky, who enjoyed a 10-year professional playing career that included four years in the NHL with Ottawa, Boston, and Montreal. After he retired from playing, Kaminsky enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that was capped by winning the Memorial Cup with the St. Catherine's Teepees in 1960.

Ellis will be presented with the award at the 2008-09 OHL Awards Ceremony taking place on Wednesday June 3, 2009, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
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