By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
If Julien Ellis ever wants to move up within the Vancouver Canucks’ organization, he knows he has his work cut out for him.
After all, this is a franchise that already contains the likes of Roberto Luongo, Curtis Sanford and Drew MacIntyre.
So when training camp opened this season, the Victoria Salmon Kings’ netminder was determined to give everything he had in order to show Vancouver brass that he has what it takes to play at the next level and beyond.
Thus far, Ellis has done just that. In seven appearances this season, the 21-year-old is 6-1-0 with a 2.71 GAA and a .929 save percentage. His dazzling play has the Salmon Kings one point ahead of the Alaska Aces for the lead in the West Division.
“I don’t want to stay in the ECHL all my career,” said Ellis, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Canucks. “For me, it’s a good thing that I have those numbers right now. I’m pretty happy about that.”
So is Victoria coach Mark Morrison, who said he noticed something different about his goaltender as soon as training camp opened. Morrison attributes a change in attitude as the biggest reason for Ellis’ quick start.
“He’s off to a real good start,” Morrison said. “He came down with a good attitude. There’s a difference in Julien from last year. His work ethic and his whole attitude is a whole lot better than it was last year.”