Next up on the draft watch is defenseman Cody Ceci from Orleans, Ontario and the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL. Ceci is a little bigger than some of the top defensive prospects in the draft at 6’2″-207 lbs. NHL.com has Ceci rated at the sixth best North American skater and the third best North American defenseman. He is talented in both the offensive zone and the defensive zone. Two-way defenseman that can be a top defenseman among points, yet still remain as a very good defensive defenseman. If you think of a defenseman that Ceci seems to play like, a couple names come to mind, like Keith Yandle or a bigger Dan Boyle.
A trend among many of the top prospects every year is high hockey IQ’s and Ceci is certainly one of them. Again, another common attribute among top prospects is poise with the puck and knowing what to do with the puck and when to do it. He pinches in the offensive zone a lot, however, he has the speed and agility to make up for it some of the time. His combination size and speed and agility makes for a very interesting prospect. He can be used to quarterback the power play but also to play a shut down role on the penalty kill and late in games. However, for his size, he is not a very physical player. He hits people, definitely, but he doesn’t have that nastiness or snarl to his game that some look for in a top-pairing defenseman. He can become a really special defenseman if he gets that snarl.
He has had a pretty good career with the Ottawa 67’s. Last season, he recorded 17 goals and 43 assists for 60 points in 64 games. His numbers with the 67’s basically double every year he has played with them. It’s likely that after the draft he returns to the 67’s, that may be what’s best for him. A little more polishing up in juniors can really solidify him as a top defensive prospect. However, I’ve always been a fan of playing young kids to get them experience and see what they can do. Since, there are so many good young defenseman in this draft, it’s possible he could go late in the top 10 to the late teens.
It still seems that the Ducks may take a forward with their 6th overall pick, but I think the only forwards they would take are Filip Forsberg, Alex Galchenyuk or Radek Faksa. I’ve already done a bio on Forsberg, so, next up is Faksa.
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