Dallas selected Elie in the 2013 NHL draft (40th overall). He was, according to most prospect services, somewhat of a reach. The year Dallas drafted him, he played 65 OHL games for the London Knights, amassing 17 points. Those are meager numbers. But numbers that would undersell what he could do in the playoffs that season when he notched 4 goals and 4 assists in 21 playoff games.
By all accounts there was more to his draft season's story. He started on a Knights team stacked with talents like Max Domi, Bo Horvat, Chris Tierney, and Seth Griffith. The majority of his season was spent on the 4th line. But he was by all accounts, a solid player who just didn't get a chance to prove he could overachieve.
He got that opportunity when he was traded to the Belleville Bulls the next season. There he would develop into a stalwart for his new OHL club, becoming a point per game player (not including his stint with Erie Otters, where he tallied 42 points in 28 games).
Since then Elie has been playing a steady role for the Texas Stars, bouncing around in a bottom six capacity his first season. This season he has 25 points in 49 games.
What to Expect
Elie projects as a bottom six left winger, capable of playing his off wing without losing the rhythm that makes him an interesting prospect.
Having developed as a so called “grinder”, he’s been emphasizing teammate support and what scouts like to call risk assessment; vision relative to when to join the rush or when to reset against the counterattack. It’s a factor off his game that has turned him into a quality penalty killer. Coaches tend to default to big forwards who can block shots on the PK, which is what makes Elie a pleasant contrast. Despite his point totals, he’s a skilled player in many respects.
Elie’s most notable skill is his speed. We’re accustomed to thinking of speed in binary terms; fast versus slow. Elie helps clarify the spectrum, with his ability to vary his pace and carry tempo. Like below:
In open ice he has that extra gear that allows him to beat guys one on one. He’s not the most gifted puck handler, but above he pulls off quite the dangle using his feet, body, and stick handling to end up one on one with the goalie.
I would never call Elie a cerebral winger, per se, but he’s creative within limits, which is what attracted Dallas scouts to him in the first place.
The biggest knock on Elie is what he’s not much of a finisher. He has a good shot, but it’s not hard enough to create rebounds, and he struggles on timing; either too patient or too aggressive. He has a slow release, which compounds his issues in the goal scoring department.
However, like a starter kit Darren Helm, he’s a quality no nonsense forward who makes very few mistakes, and does a good job of driving the play forward.