Like a few teams around the NHL, the Nashville Predators are having a hard time getting one of their promising restricted free agents under contract. Defenseman Ryan Ellis is still in need of a new deal after finishing out the last year of his entry-level contract last season. According to Preds GM David Poile, an agreement on a new contract is not close.

Poile spoke with Predators blog Section303.com to provide an update on the status of the negotiations:

“We're having on-going discussions,” he said. “We're a ways apart. Obviously, if we weren't we would have a deal done.”

“We're really excited about his future, how he played the last half of the season and the possibilities of his type of game under Coach [Peter] Laviolette,” Poile said. “It's just the type of negotiation where we just haven't gotten together. But there's quite a few younger players that are still unsigned on a lot of clubs right now.”

Poile also said the club would like to have a new contract done by the start of training camp.

Ellis was the 11th overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He torched the junior ranks as a gifted offensive-minded defenseman with the Windsor Spitfires, but has taken a bit more time to find his way in the NHL.

He put up 27 points in 80 games while logging an average of 16:04 per game, essentially third-pairing minutes, last season. Ellis did see substantial power play time and that's likely where he'll be often again for the Predators.