The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.
The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).
However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.
So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.
So without further ado:
Introducing our 2012 NHL #11 Draft Prospect - Cody Ceci
Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2011 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.
Defense / Ottawa 67's
Dec 21 1993
|2011/12 - Ottawa 67's (OHL)
Accomplishments & Awards:
|2011/12||OHL Second All-Star Team
|Ottawa 67's Defenseman of the Year
|2009/10||U17 WHC Silver Medal
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?):
What'd you call me?!
Summarized Scouting Report
Smart, poised two-way defender with excellent hockey sense ... considered one of the premier defensemen in the entire CHL ... can play some power play minutes as well as penalty killing – he's a minute eater ... logs close to 30 minutes a game ... plays in any situation ... skates well with good feet and solid all-round mobility ... hard to get the puck off of because of his size and strength ... uses his frame to separate the puck ... has a powerful shot and gets it on net ... one of the top powerplay players in the OHL ... has developed into an exceptional puck mover ... pinches deep for scoring chances at the appropriate times ... shows confidence with the puck and generally makes good decisions ... reads the play well and is sound in his positional game ... shows great poise carrying the puck ... has outstanding defensive zone awareness and instincts ...
Skating is all right but still needs some refinement ... inconsistency in using his size to push people around ... a little worried about his inability to use his size as an advantage defensively ... his hands are average - he won't be stickhandling through the opposing team ... not skilled enough to be a top power play guy in the NHL
#2-3 Two-way Defenseman
NHL 2012 Entry Draft Profile: Cody Ceci (via TheHockeyVidz)
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
Again, the Wild need offense. Ceci is second in points scored by defensemen in the OHL, right behind Dougie Hamilton.
If there was one prospect on draft day that I feel could sneak up into the top ten and beat out the more well-known prospects, it would be Cody Ceci.
No one really talks about him but he is a monster prospect. He has it all.
Ceci is big, he's mobile and he's strong. He has a booming shot that he can get towards the net. He can make quick transitions through quick and smart passes. He began as a defensive defenseman but began to develop his offensive game and is now one of the top OHL defensemen. He eats minutes and plays in all situations.
So what is the problem? Well, for a big, strong guy, he doesn't play a physical game. While I could argue that this is simply a playing style argument and nothing to do with talent, it does seem like wasted ability seeing that he stands at 6'2 207lbs, size that could easily dominate players at the juniors, not to mention pros.
In addition, while other prospects still need to fill out their frames and as a result conjures thoughts of "imagine what he can do when he puts on muscle", Ceci is already at prime level. This has some wondering if he already has reached his peak and question how much more upside does he have left, if any.
Personally, I think he would make a great fit on the Wild. I still prefer Jacob Trouba, but Ceci is everything the Wild needs on the blueline. While he isn't a dynamic offensive player like Matt Dumba or Morgan Rielly, Ceci knows how to run the offensive game and has the shot from the blueline Minnesota has been lacking ever since Brian Rolston left (yes, he's a forward but he played the powerplay). And while he has those gifted offensive abilities, he compliments it with strength, defensive awareness and ability to eat up top minutes in all situations.
The combination of Jonas Brodin's slickness and defensive smarts, with Cody Ceci's cannon and strength, seem like a great match.
As I finish this article, I feel like I want to move Ceci up my rankings ... oh well ...
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Report