One of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season was the emergence and solid play of 2012 first round pick Cody Ceci. In his first full pro season, it was not expected that Ceci would even make an appearance in an Ottawa Senators uniform, let alone be a consistent force. A perceived lack of defensive zone awareness was supposed to keep Cody Ceci in Binghamton for the entire season, to continue his development under coach Luke Richardson.
Well, a testament to the tutelage of Richardson and also to the attention to detail and desire of the young Ceci, he rapidly became one of the top blueliners in the AHL and earned a call-up in early December. At the time people thought it was just a reward for his solid play in Binghamton, but nobody really thought he would be a mainstay for the rest of the season. However, although not always perfect, Ceci performed admirably and earned a spot on the blue line that had its share of struggles. A lot of credit also needs to go to his partner (for most of the time), Chris Phillips, whose influence really seemed to help Ceci adapt to the NHL game.
He ended up suiting up for 49 games, scoring 3 goals and adding 6 assists while playing over 17 minutes per night. He even saw plenty of time on special teams, as expected on the power play, but unexpectedly saw a lot of time on the penalty kill as he continued to earn the confidence of coach Paul MacLean.
- Made his NHL debut December 12th against Buffalo
- Scored his first career NHL goal, an overtime winner, against the St. Louis Blues on December 16th.
- His second career goal was also a game winner, in the Heritage Classic March 2nd in Vancouver
- As with most under 20 year old defensemen, needs to develop consistency
- More strength is required to deal with NHL sized forwards
Cody Ceci just completed the first year of his 3 year entry level deal. He will be around for some time.
The rapid development of Cody Ceci was a pleasant surprise for the Senators, who were ready to be patient with him as he learned the pro game. It might have been a desperation play to bring him up so early, but the move paid dividends and it looks like he is in the NHL to stay.
GRADE – A : In a dark season filled with disappointment and frustration, Cody Ceci was a beacon of light and sign that the future is indeed bright. And he will only get better.