Team: Ottawa 67's (OHL)
Date of Birth: December 21st, 1993
Place of Birth: Orleans, ONT
Ht: 6'2" Wt: 205
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats:
2011-2012 OHL Playoff Stats:
There may not be too many more guys who have seen their stock rise over the second half of a season than Cody Ceci. Ranked the #16 North American skater by Central Scouting's midterm rankings, Ceci shot all the way up to #6 in the final rankings. In his third full season in the OHL, he made a tremendous jump, going from 9/25/34 in 68 games in 2010-2011 to 17/43/60 in 64 games this season. He also managed 15 points in 18 playoff games. In short, Ceci really blossomed.
Some of that can be attributed to the fact that he has an extra year on a lot of his league-mates, but just the same he really took a huge step forward this year offensively to catch the eyes of the scouts. Ceci has great size, and his shot and power play work contribute to his offensive totals. He's a very good puck-mover, and can work the offensive zone as well as any defenseman in the draft. His weakness is on the defensive end, though he has been noted to be improving on defense each season. He does tend to cheat a bit in his own zone, which spells death at the NHL level most times.
As it stands, Ceci has to be considered one of the premier defensemen not only in the OHL, but the Canadian Hockey League as a whole. He plays a strong offensive game and has developed into an exceptional puck mover and one of the top powerplay players in the OHL. Ceci has a big shot and does a good job distributing the puck and activating in the offensive zone. His defensive game has improved considerably since his 16-year-old season, but he still needs to show an increased commitment to the defensive end. As an 18-year-old, Ceci is a little ahead in the development curve of some of the other defensemen in the draft, but his strong offensive upside makes him a quality pick in this range.
A big defensemen with dynamic, fast skating and huge offensive upside, Ceci can win races to the puck and can stop breakaways. The player, considered a 200-ft defenseman, can go deep into the opponents' ice and still return to his position. Thanks to agility, he is capable of quarterbacking power plays--where his slap shot shines. He is also good at executing the first pass to start the breakout, essential to the start of a good offensive rush, and at winning one-on-one battles in his own zone. Ceci is very calm, composed and consistent with the puck. If this eighteen-year-old wants to be more of a defensive asset on his team, he should start getting in front of opponents’ shots more often to reduce the goalie’s amount of work. He could also improve his mobility along the oppositions’ blueline to get open.
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
Let's see... a big, fast, heavy-right-handed shot who can put up all kinds of offense? Where could we find room for that? In all seriousness, the Jackets have attempted to remake their blue line with bigger puck-movers; Ceci projects to a larger Dan Boyle. Boyle is 5'11 or so and maybe 190 pounds; Ceci is already 6'2" or 6'3" and between 200 and 210 depending on which site you read. Ceci would strengthen a floundering Jackets' Power Play unit, as well as help generate offense both on the rush and in the opponents' zone. He also has the coveted right handed shot, which Columbus currently only has one of on its expected 2012 NHL roster (James Wisniewski).
Ceci in Action: