Ottawa Senators: Cody Ceci Must Prove His Worth

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Cody Ceci
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25: Cody Ceci /

The 15th overall pick of the 2012 draft, Cody Ceci has been given plenty of room to grow by the Ottawa Senators. It’s been an up and down process for the Ottawa native but it’s time for him to come into his own.

Brought into the NHL at the age of 19, Ceci was accelerated to the highest level of hockey much quicker than most defenders. In a position that normally takes longer to develop Ceci has been learning on the go. However, at the age of 23 he must begin to stabilize as a player for the Ottawa Senators.

Fair and Unfair Criticism

The criticism of Ceci has always been for his defensive play. More adept at the offensive side of the game, he’s struggled at times to perform defensively. Using hero charts it can be seen that when compared to a second pairing defenseman, Ceci is above average offensively but below average defensively. A Hero Chart rates the advanced metrics of players in different categories. They can be used to compare players to other players and to archetypes. They aren’t perfect but they can be useful to gauge a player’s strengths and weaknesses.

One of the biggest criticisms of Ceci is not that he shouldn’t play, it’s that others should be playing more often than him. For example, Fredrik Claesson has become the player that Sens’ fans believe should play higher in the lineup. Many believe that he looks like a better player on the ice and should be given more responsibility. The problem with that argument is that it depends on a rather simplistic way of thinking. Ceci was second on the team in time on ice last season. As a result he plays against much stiffer competition than players such as Claesson. Ceci is constantly up against the first and second lines of teams. The result of this is that some of his individual stats will suffer. Conversely, players such as Claesson have their numbers inflated by playing sheltered minutes.

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Wrap Up

At the same time while I give credit to Ceci for playing against stiffer competition, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to improve. He does or the Sens could be in trouble. With Methot gone the defence is as thin as ever. In a time like this Ceci has to step up and show he can be better. The Ottawa Senators need Ceci to grow into the player he was drafted to be, and soon.