In two of most recent articles for ESPN Insider (warning: behind a pay-wall), Corey Pronman briefly described: 1) a number NHL prospects who have seen their stock diminish over the course of the 2012/13 season; and 2) conversely, a number of NHL prospects who have seen their stock improve.
His list of prospects having down seasons is littered with names like Matthew Dumba, Radek Faksa, Stanislav Galiev, Joe Morrow and Ottawa Senators defensive prospect, Cody Ceci.
Ceci was actually named an OHL second-team All-Star and ranked second among OHL defensemen in scoring. Even with that in mind, scouts I talked to came away with mixed feelings about Ceci's play this season. While his offensive ability is not at all in question, his play at the other end of the rink left some concerns. "His defense looked very average, if not bad," one scout said.
Cody Ceci may not have had the campaign that many had expected in the wake of being selected fifteenth overall by the Senators in the first round, but if we add some context to his season, he played for a horrendously awful Ottawa 67s squad that eventually wound up bottoming out in the OHL standings.
Now not all his shortcomings last season can be directly attributable to playing for a bad team, but you have to wonder how much this caused him to try and force the play and ‘do too much’. As Scott showed, while Ceci' s total offensive production was stable, he produced much less at even-strength. Throw in the complications of playing within the same NHL hockey market that drafted him, as well as the increased level of interest in Ceci’s play because of the lockout, and you have two readymade excuses to help explain some of his struggles.
Physicality and the ability to contain players at the higher level was something that Ceci was always going to have to work at. These defensive struggles are something that Pronman also alluded to within his write-up:
The defensive-end struggles were more evident during the first half of the OHL season, which may not have coincidentally led to a lack of an invite to Canada's world juniors camp in his last season of U-20 eligibility. After being dealt from Ottawa to Owen Sound, Ceci's play picked up in the 27 games he played with Owen. He's a dynamic skater who moves the puck well, with a good shot. As he enters his first pro season, it will be interesting to monitor how Ottawa's staff works with him on his defensive issues.
Although it’s never fun to be mentioned within the same list as a guy like Louis Leblanc, things are far from looking bleak for Cody Ceci. One disappointing season does not make or a break a career, just ask Robin Lehner – a player who finds himself on Pronman’s list of prospects whose stock improved immensely.no comments