Predators sign three players to two-way deals

Jul 6, 2007 - 1:53 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators added depth Thursday, re-signing defenseman Nolan Yonkman to a one-year contract and inking right wing Shane Willis and goaltender Dan Ellis to one-year deals.

All three players signed two-way contracts. At the NHL level, Ellis will make $500,000, Willis will receive $475,000 and Yonkman will get $450,000. All three will be paid $100,000 at the minor-league level.

A second-round pick of Washington in 1999, Yonkman spent the entire 2006-07 season with Milwaukee of the American Hockey League, recording three goals and 10 assists in 77 games. The 26-year-old has notched one tally and eight points in 50 contests over parts of three campaigns with the Capitals.

Willis, 30, has not appeared in the NHL since 2003-04 with Tampa Bay. The fourth-round pick of Carolina in 1997 scored 20 goals and 44 points in 73 games with the Hurricanes in 2000-01 but suffered a concussion on a hit by then-New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens that postseason and has struggled to find a spot in the NHL ever since.

Last season, Willis registered 20 goals and 23 assists in 43 games with Albany of the AHL. In 174 NHL contests with the Hurricanes and Lightning, he has collected 31 tallies and 74 points.

Ellis was selected by Dallas in the second round of the 2000 draft and made his NHL debut in 2003-04, posting the win in his only game. The 27-year-old spent last campaign with Iowa of the AHL, going 30-21-1 with four shutouts and a 2.78 goals-against average.

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