Cody Ceci THW Close Up:
THW Ranking (May): 11th
Cody Ceci has become one of the feel good stories of the draft class hurtling himself from an initial ranking of 16th by NHL’s Central Scouting to a final place of sixth among North American skaters. In his third full OHL season, a rare feat for a draft-eligible player, Cody Ceci nearly doubled his career highs in goals and points to finish second in defensive scoring trailing only Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara Ice Dogs. At the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Niagara’s Hamilton was selected ninth overall to the Boston Bruins and Cody Ceci is aiming to best his OHL counterpart by being selected higher.
The former 16th overall selection of the Ottawa 67’s in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Cody Ceci has shown improvements in all facets of his game. His best attribute has always been his elite hockey sense but, until this season, Ceci lacked the confidence to fully tap his on-ice ability to read and react with the utmost confidence. As Ceci launched his OHL career, many experts expected him to adopt a shutdown role but mid-way through his sophomore campaign 67’s head coach Chris Byrne and his staff noticed flashes of offensive potential. Almost two years later, Ceci stands amongst his draft peers advertised as a solid two-way defenseman with offensive flair.
From my own personal observations in DobberHockey’s Fantasy Prospects Guide,
“Ceci has an NHL sized frame and skates remarkably well given his large stature. His tendency to jump into the rush displays his exceptional skating ability and he often acts as a rover with the man advantage. Ceci has the total package to become a dominant NHL defenseman with the skill set to thrive on the powerplay as he possesses a hard slap shot and good offensive instincts.”
Ceci owns a skill set that is well-rounded displaying good skating skills (despite an awkward stride), good mobility and improving puck skills. Most noticeable with the man advantage, Ceci is Ottawa’s trigger man with a rocket of a shot – one that’s been called “among the best of the draft”. As effective as Ceci is on the powerplay, he holds good value operating the penalty kill as well, using his intelligent reads, solid positioning and his quick stick to strip opponents’ scoring chances. An intelligent, instinctual and determined defenseman, Ceci competes with impressive intensity ensuring that he makes the correct decision each and every time he touches the puck.
The big man from Orleans, Ontario has a few areas to improve to best maximize his potential, particularly the physical component of his game. He often relies on his stick too much to defend rather than using his pro-caliber frame to contain the attacker. With three full OHL seasons under his belt, Ceci has certainly used the extra year of major junior development to his advantage and some are questioning whether he is approaching his potential peak already. However, Cody’s game is clear of any alarming issues making him a true contender for the top ten. There is little not to like about Ottawa’s top minute-munching defenseman and with a little grooming an NHL team is going to walk away from the 2012 NHL Draft with a reliable do-it-all type of defender.
Ceci has the Four S’s – size, skill, skating and shot. He played ample minutes this year for the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL and helped them advance to the semi-finals. Despite being physically imposing, he needs to do a better job containing players down low. He has several ingredients that could make him a very serviceable option on a NHL blue line.
David Burstyn –McKeen’s Hockey Director of Scouting
Cody Ceci is a good two-way defenseman and is arguably the most well rounded in the draft. He’s big, but not overly physical for his size. He has a good first pass, great vision, a hard shot and is very mobile.
The Hockey Guys’ Final 2012 NHL Draft Rankings
Ceci is a very sound all-around defenseman who doesn’t have a standout skill other than his hockey sense, but he does everything else at a fine level which in the big picture makes for a very good defenseman. He’s fluid, but not extremely fast but he really gets around in all directions well, activates efficiently off the point, and looks technically sound in his movements. Ceci is a plus thinker who sees the ice very well, can make good split second decisions, and is able to quarter back the power play.
Ceci’s hallmark is his minute-eating: The 6’2 200-plus pound blueliner plays in all scenarios, in all manpower-situations for the 67s. The third-year defender is a capable distributor and triggerman on the powerplay. A solid skating game and excellent passing abilities mean that Ceci works well as a puck-mover, whether throwing the puck to teammates or jumping up into the rush himself. On the attack, Ceci brings a powerful shot from the point while still capable of playing the role of quarterback.
Bob Mand – Bruins’ Correspondent at THW and NHLMockDraft.com contributor
Cody Ceci Profile on DobberProspects
Neate Sager’s Draft Tracker: 5 Questions with Cody Ceci, Ottawa 67’s
- Ceci was one of the final cuts from the 2012 Team Canada Selection Camp nearly making the 2012 WJC squad.
- Ceci represented Canada at the 2011 World U18 Championship
- In 2010, Ceci helped Team Ontario capture silver at the 2010 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
ETA = 1-2 years
(with a chance to crack an opening day roster in 2011-12)
Risk= 1/5 Reward = 4/5
Top four two-way defenseman with PP potential
*See “THW Close-Up” section above.
- Strong hockey sense
- Good mobility
- Solid positioning
- Ideal size
- Hard accurate shot
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- Improve physicality
- Improve puck handling skills
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive = 7.5/10 Defensive = 8/10
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
- Brent Burns
- Keith Yandle
- Brent Seabrook
Off The Iron (Interesting Notes):
- Cody Ceci’s NHL Scouting Combine tests revealed that he has a wing span of 77.75 inches placing him top 7 of the draft. He placed top ten in the standing long jump (8th; 113”), leg power test (7th), pushups (10th) and pull strength (3rd) completing a successful combine.
- Cody’s father, Parri Ceci, was the 1984 Vanier Cup MVP as receiver for the University of Guelph’s football team. He also had a brief stint in the CFL competing for the Calgary Stampeders.
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph
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