Oilers Sign Ceci to Four-Year Contract

The Edmonton Oilers have signed Cody Ceci to a four year deal with an AAV of $3.25 million.

Ceci Cashes in After Strong Season

A first-time UFA, Cody Ceci enjoyed a solid season with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2020-21 on a one-year deal and now has more security on a longer-term contract.

The 27-year old recorded four goals and 13 assists in 53 games while skating an average of 18:31, and was also a plus-18. He was a minus-player in five of his seven NHL seasons prior to 2020-21. He was a career-worst minus-27 with the Ottawa Senators in 2017-18, where he was overused and miscast.

Cody Ceci Pittsburgh Penguins
Cody Ceci enjoyed a resurgent season for the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Being traded to the Maple Leafs prior to 2019-20 in the Connor Brown trade did nothing to change his fortunes, as he was subpar in Toronto and the club let him walk.

The Penguins primarily used Ceci in a bottom-pairing role due to their defensive depth, but that was the perfect spot for him. SBNation’s Adam Gretz noted he was one of their most effective defenders In terms of scoring chances allowed, expected goals, and actual goals produced. He was also their most-used player on the penalty-kill, logging an average of 2:35 of short-handed ice time per game.

Oilers Are Wheeling and Dealing, Overhauling Blue Line

The Oilers have been involved in a flurry of moves even by Free Agent Frenzy standards, as GM Ken Holland attempts to bolster the team that was swept in the first round by the Winnipeg Jets despite being a huge favourite in the series.

They acquired veteran Duncan Keith from the Chicago Blackhawks, but then were dealt a huge blow, losing Adam Larsson to the Seattle Kraken.

Related: Oilers Must Figure Out Cause of Larsson’s Sudden Departure to Kraken

Hence, Ceci — a right-shot — addresses an urgent need, especially considering Ethan Bear — a right-handed defenseman like Larsson — was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Warren Foegel.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Ceci has played 549-career NHL games over eight seasons, recording 37 goals and 106 assists for 143 points and has skated an average of 20:46. He was originally drafted 15th overall by the Senators in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.