Once a Panthers bust, Keaton Ellerby now a solid Jets D-man

Keaton Ellerby will play his first game against the Panthers since being traded from Florida last...

Keaton Ellerby will play his first game against the Panthers since being traded from Florida last February. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Keaton Ellerby is back where it all began.

The Winnipeg Jets defenceman was chosen 10th overall by the Florida Panthers at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and Thursday will mark his first game back since the Panthers shipped him to the Los Angeles Kings for a fifth round pick last February.

Ellerby, claimed off waivers by the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 2, wasn’t feeling overly sentimental earlier this week when asked him about his time with the Panthers, though he remains grateful to the organization for giving him his start in the NHL.

However, when you regularly find yourself as the extra defenceman, the challenges sometimes seem endless.

“It sucks, it’s the worst,” said Ellerby. “No one likes sitting out and being the seventh guy or whatever. It’s challenging to go to rink every day and know you’re not going to play. Sometimes, you feel a little bit disconnected from the team.


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