As far as making a splash, Bryan Murray sat idly on his hands during Round 1 of the NHL draft on Friday night.
Outdone by his wheeling-and-dealing counterparts, the Senators GM complacently watched other teams trade up in the draft so he could stay at fifteen and select ... Cody Ceci?
"Nice way to show your thanks to the fans for their support," said Javier Manband, a fan who claims to create his own Senators-inspired macaroni art that captures individual player profiles or great moments in franchise history – his favorite piece depicts a mulleted Sly Turgeon.
"That's a garbage pick. Look at all the success that we’ve had avoiding Ottawa 67’s players in the first round. Ceci’s just another Matt Zultek."
Thing is, we really don't know how good Ceci can and will be. He is just the eighth defenceman ever drafted by the Senators from the OHL. He joins an esteemed list of names that includes: Tim Gleason; Kevin Bolibruck; Bryan Berard; Marc Moro; Jan Platil; Will Colbert; and Jason Maleyko.
He is advertised as a great skating defenceman with a big shot.
But how many of those aforementioned names put on a Senators jersey for just one regular season game?
The answer is: none.
Murray’s going against history here. History!
"I like big strong guys," said Murray, noting Ceci has some work to do in the gym. "But I also like high-end skilled people."
Ceci won't play in the NHL for a year or two or three, if he ever does. Real tough to get excited about him now when he could be the next Jason Maleyko or that guy Ottawa could have grabbed in the second round in 2008.
Basing an opinion about Ceci on the history of other draft picks is just downright ... well it's a word I won't write out on a public forum.While I agree that Ceci is two maybe three years removed from pushing for a full time NHL spot, this kid does have potential. Is he going to be a Norris Trophy winner? Probably not. I've seen him play plenty with the 67's and the only knock I have on him is that he doesn't use his frame to his physical benefit. At times he may be too offensive minded and have a defensive hiccup.
Time will tell, but I do believe Ceci will be an NHL'er down the road.
All the Isles picks for Murray at 2? Just visited the Sun webpage. Sounds like a perfect 1st paragraph for a sports article on The Onion.
@sensuries I'd like to think that such a deal was predicated on Yakupov being passed over by Edmonton. It's the only thing that makes sense.
Another random thought - doesn't he look a bit like a young Eric Lindros? Not as broadly built, of course, but the similarities are there. In another similarity to Lindros, Ceci's father was a very good football player, leading Guelph to a Vanier Cup in 1984. (Carl Lindros played football for Western.)
@Dennis_Prouse Interesting parallels. The fact that Ceci's a big body who can move around the ice well is fantastic. The physical tools are there. Assuming he pans out, Ottawa's blue line is looking good moving forward.
I love how the internet is written in ink. :-) Brennan will never live that one down - it was even more demonstrably stupid than, "Malkin to the Kings".
The fact that Ceci was still available at 15 is unreal. It seems odd, as the conventional wisdom was that he had shot up the draft board in the second half of the season, and was a consensus top ten pick. When you look at the kid's size and skill package, I think it is pretty much a lead pipe cinch that he will be an NHL regular. What kind of NHL regular isn't known yet, of course, but it's worth noting that historically, about half of first round picks will NOT sign a significant second NHL contract. (Significant being defined as a multi-year, one-way deal.) I would be curious to check out how many OHL defencemen averaging 30 minutes a night as a 17/18 year old didn't go on to good, solid NHL careers.
Here's my only red flag on Ceci - I can see a scenario where he goes to camp, does well, but gets returned to the 67s at the last minute. Often in that scenario, a kid goes back to junior, sulks a bit, and takes a step backward. If he is close at all, I would rather have him with the big club, playing limited minutes, as opposed to returning to Junior where he really has nothing left to prove. It's too bad we can't send him to the AHL, but barring a change in the CBA, it's NHL or OHL, and I can't see how he develops much more playing against other teenagers.
@Dennis_Prouse I don't really see Ceci sulking; he seems like a sharp kid, and probably doesn't expect to step into the NHL right away--how could he expect that? I think the Sens will give him a few games to start the season to give him a glimpse of the big show, but send him back to the 67s after nine games or less. Ideally, he'll use that as motivation, and put up a monster season in anticipation of the 2013-14 season.
The best thing about him being with the 67s is that he's never far from the Sens. They can bring him in for training throughout this summer and next, and invite him to spend time with the Sens' training staff when he's not busy with the 67s' group. I'd expect that to be a good situation, and may even establish a case for the Melnyk to fork over some cash for an AHL team and move them to the Ottawa area. Vertical integration, or whatever; allows the training staff do double-duty working with current players as well as prospects.
@JayArrB @silversevensens @Dennis_Prouse Sure. But it can also be a lonely and highly disruptive experience. Add piles of money and puck bunnies and.. hell that sounds great to me. But I'm older and wiser and could use some debauchery.
But seriously: He's a kid. Hockey rips kids from their homes at 15 or 16 and then sends them to junior, followed by being drafted into the NHL system (or not, which is the fate of the vast majority of Junior A players, including members of my family) where they start off in some second tier small city with a team in one of the various tiered leagues. Junior is the best of a tough lot because at least you're housed with a family that gives a shit.
He's eighteen. If he stays in Junior he'll go home to mom and dad and the xBox and the fridge, like teenagers are supposed to do. Have a girlfriend that's from the hood, not some predatory gold-digger, and once he's signed and being paid a salary he can afford to get some single digs of his own which will be well stocked by his mom's home cooking, always coming home to clean laundry.
You'd be surprised how lonely and aggrieved a hockey player's life can be, which is why so many of the journeyman players get in trouble with booze and alcohol. They never really got a chance to be normal teenagers in a normal environment. The stars have it better, but it's still not easy.
Ceci has a normal life. He seems like a decent kid from a good family that will be treated well by an organization that gives a damn about the players.
That's a good thing.
@slavitch @silversevensens @Dennis_Prouse In a weird way I think Ceci wishes he was drafted to another City. I dare say that most kids want to get away from home at and around Ceci's age. You know, experience the freedom and excitement of leaving an area at that age. Like how most kids choose a school out of town for University or College, usually helps build independence / character as well.
@slavitch @silversevensens True - if in fact they decide that Ceci isn't ready for the NHL this Fall, the setup with the 67's at SBP is perfect. Further good news is that Ceci is a late 1993 birthday, so for 2013-14, he can play in the American League if need be. Somehow, though, I don't think he will ever play any more than a handful of games in the "A" in his career.