2012 NHL Draft Scouting Report: Cody Ceci
If there is one player who has used this season to progress and elevate himself, its been Cody Ceci. I originally saw Ceci as a prospect with the Peterborough Minor Pets of the OMHA, and liked the upside that I saw. He had good individual skills and nice size, but I wondered if the offensive ability would translate to the next level. His first few years in Ottawa, it looked like my observations where true. He was showing good offensive output, but at the same time was used in more of a defensive role for the 67′s. The big change for me came at the 2012 NHL Research and Development combine. I was lucky enough to attend, and right away Ceci stood out to me ahead of other big name player. He had really improved his mobility and agility in the offseason. What was once a negative and an area for improvement was an asset. He also was more confident with the puck and willing to skate it up the ice aggressively. He took that experience and has really taken himself from a late first or high second round draft selection to a slam-dunk top 10, and the third OHL player off the board.
Ceci’s biggest asset is fairly obvious to those who see him in person. He is one of the best offensive defenceman in the Ontario Hockey League. He is at his best skating the puck up the ice, gaining the blue line and assessing the play. He either takes the puck to the net, or makes a skilled play at the blueline. He shows strong composure at the blueline on the powerplay, and distributes the puck with intelligence and poise. He has a hard, accurate shot that is always low and on net, and although he may not score with it, he always generates rebounds or tip ins. His mobility and agility has really improved over the course of he season. Last year his footwork was viewed as a negative, and something that needed to be worked on, but this year he looks to have really improved his first few steps. He maximizes his stride and uses his power and lower body strength to really drive past opponents. He is also quite effective in puck battles down low in his own zone. He is strong at pinning opposition forwards out of the play, and using his body to leverage other players out of away from pucks. His progression this year has been outstanding, and what interests and excites me about Ceci his progression. If he improved this much in one year, imagine how good he could be in three to four.
For everything that Ceci does well, he does have some room to grow with his positional play. At times he can cheat offensively in his own zone, leaving his man alone and opening up gaps in the defensive zone coverage. He also can make poor decisions away from the puck at the opposition blue line. He can make poor decisions as to when to pinch, and gives up an odd man chance against. All of his issues to this point are easily fixable at the next level, and I would not really worry to much about his ability to improve these issues over the next few years
Individual skill Rankings (out of 10)
Skill : 7.5
Hockey Sense: 8
Positional Play: 7
Ceci projects out as a top pairing defenceman who can be a strong powerplay player at the next level.
Ceci should be a the third Ontario player selected at the NHL Draft, and will be a top 10 selection at the NHL Draft