The Omaha Lancers announced today that former goaltender Dan Ellis will join the team as an assistant coach. Ellis previously played for the Lancers (1999-00) and University of Nebraska-Omaha (2000-03).
Ellis joins the Lancers after finishing a professional career that spanned 13 seasons ending with the Hershey Bears of the AHL last season. A veteran of over 200 NHL games, Ellis finished his NHL career with a lifetime save percentage of .906 and goals against average of 2.79. The Saskatoon native also appeared in 181 games at the AHL and ECHL level.
“We’re thrilled to have Dan join our staff,” said Lancers general manager and head coach Brian Kaufman. “Dan will not only be a huge asset for our goaltenders but for everyone on our roster. Anytime you can bring in someone who has not only played at the highest level, but knows what it takes to win it’s something you have to do.”
Ellis credited his experiences as a Lancer and time in the Omaha community as major reasons to join the organization.
“Joining the Lancers is something that I take great pride in,” said Ellis. “My life and career changed when I became a Lancer and now this is my chance to give back. I look forward to assisting the staff and players with the intention of bringing back a championship.”
Ellis appeared in 55 games for the Lancers during the 1999-00 season posting a record of 34-16-4 with a 2.25 GAA and .925 SV%, en route to being named 2000 USHL Goaltender of the Year. He is one of five goaltenders in USHL history to win the USHL Player of the Year Award. Ellis played three seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and was named to the 2001 CCHA All-Rookie Team.
“Dan really embodies what it means to be a Lancer and we look forward to having him here day in and day out,” said Kaufman.
Ellis will begin his new position with the Lancers effective immediately. He currently resides with his family in Omaha, NE.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.