Flames 2012 First Round Targets: Cody Ceci



The final, primary target in the FN series is the Ottawa ’67s Cody Ceci. A big defender with excellent offensive potential, Ceci finished second in defender scoring in Ontario last year with 17 goals and 60 points in just 64 games. Only former top-10 pick Dougie Hamilton scored more (72 points in 50 games).

What’s interesting and about Ceci – and what makes him a highly ranked defender in this year’s draft – is that his offensive totals don’t come with the caveat of poor defensive abilities. At 6’02" and 203 pounds, Ceci is already NHL sized and most scouting reports say he has a solid all around game. Hockey Prospectus’ Corey Pronman notes that Ceci thinks the game at a high level and is fact excellent in his own zone:

Ceci is an above-average skater who skates very well for a bigger player. He’s fluid, but not extremely fast but he really gets around in all directions well, activates efficiently off the point, and looks technically sound in his movements. Ceci is a plus thinker who sees the ice very well, can make good split second decisions, and is able to quarter back the power play. He also has a pretty good shot that he leans into as a trigger man on the power play.

Ceci is an advanced defensive player who uses his stick well to break up plays, reads his assignments fine, and has become a physical threat this year. He’s filled out his body well and shows fine strength boxing forwards out of the crease or with his board battles. Ceci’s puck skills are about average, but he creates offense the way a lot of coaches like as he generates a quick transition game and is a very good passer. Ceci is also a pretty well-conditioned player who logged ridiculous minutes this past season, typically at times playing 30 minutes a game.

Strengths: hockey IQ, size, shot, conditioning, passing

Weakness: not overly fast or creative

Not a lot to dislike there. Like Pronman, Future Considerations ranked Ceci just outside the top-10 and had a lot of good things to say about his game:

Always known as a strong defense- first defenseman, Ceci is now showing that he has some interesting offensive upside. He was aggressive with the puck, skating it out of his end and either passing it off to a teammate or skating it into the offensive zone. He has one of the strongest shots in the league, both accurate and heavy. He has smart positioning in his own end. He has really improved his puck skills and is showing the ability to create offense from the back end. He has the size and strength to consistently win puck battles down low at his own end.

The only negatives FC could note was Ceci could probably be more physical given his size and that it’s somewhat questionable if his offense will translate in the NHL because he’s not terribly creative.

Probable Target?

It’s hard to ignore a blueliner who finished at the top of the league in scoring with a near PPG pace when what the scouts and pundits talk about most is his impressive defensive game. The only other potential "negative" against the kid is he is one of the older draft eligibles this year, with a December 1993 birthday.

Ceci almost universally pops up around 10-12 in rankings and mock drafts, so he’s one of the guys the Flames will have to hope slides a bit if they have their eyes on him.

Probability he will be available at 14: Low

Probability the Flames will (would) take him: High

The Targets List

  • there is some hope for a fall, given that defensemen ALWAYS do. Sometimes it’s because teams want forwards (see 2010) or because they see other defensemen as better (2011) or both (also 2011). Weirdness always happens to top dmen, and it’s usually the teams that pass on them who pay (although Brodin hardly seems like a bad pick by the Wild… but Beaulieu should never have fallen to 17th, even so)

  • supra steve


    Just FYI…I get shut out on the comments on Max R. as well, both home and work. Don’t need to post, but would enjoy reading other comments.

    Even after I logged out of my FN account, I couldn’t see comments.

    Sounds like C.C. would be a great pick, if he were to fall to our 14 spot.

  • T&A4Flames

    It doesnt work for me either.

    As per the draft im torn between Ceci, and Zegmus. I may lean toward Ceci as I see potential 2nd and 3rd line centers in our system now.

  • JR

    Scott Cruickshank reported that the Flames are interviewing Matt Dumba again tonight. Any chance they intend to move up & take the Calgary product? Personally I’d be ecstatic if they could pull that off.

  • SmellOfVictory

    @JR: I personally don’t think the Flames are likely to get any better a player at, say, 10th overall than 14th. This draft feels like it has a big, mushy middle first round, so unless the Flames can move into the top 5 without too much effort I think they’d be better served staying put or moving down a bit.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Staying put is my preference as well. They could really end up with a good player. This could be especially true, if there is an early run in forwards the Flames could end up with a really good defenseman.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I had the same problem with my computer and my laptop for the Reinhart post. But everything is working now a few hours later.

    I’ve really come to like Ceci as we get closer and closer to the draft. I’ve seen a Sportsnet draft where Ceci was 15th, and another on a hockey blog site that had Ceci right at 14th. Again, fairly unreliable sources. Corey Pronman has him at 13. I think it is a toss-up between Ceci and Reinhart, but Reinhart will be gone in the top 10. Ceci is better than Maatta, as well as the guys like Girgensons/Collberg and the other guys that have been profiled in the past few weeks. Let’s hope he falls to us.

  • Ceci would be a very nice pick-up, reading his scouting report seems like he’d be a solid NHL-er for a long time. That being said, if the Flames could find a way to move up and take a Reinhart or a Dumba, that would be phenomenal. The problem is that, what assets do the Flames have to make that trade? J-Bo and a 1st to Toronto for their 1st?

  • CitizenFlame


    Really unlikely. Even when if you would swap out Schenn for somebody like Komisarek, the incentive for Toronto to make this deal really just isn’t there. Also, they’re mainly looking for a goalie, and from my observatons they have a decent/crowded defense already. JBo probably isn’t that attractive of an option for them too because of his salary, due to the fact that Toronto is a spend-to-the-cap team as well.

      • Stockley

        I’m inclined to agree. Why should the Flames take more trash from the Toronto trash heap? Bo is overpaid and maybe a little overrated; but he’s still a very effective player. People blame him for signing on the dotted line. If it hadn’t been the Flames it would have been another team throwing an inflated contract at him. General managers are often their own worst enemies.

        That said, I do hope the Flames manage to snag a blue chip defenceman in the first round. Most of the forwards liable to be available at 14 are safe picks. We don’t need more ‘safe’ players, we need another home run. If they grab another player who develops like Sven I might even start having a little faith in our management and scouting again.

  • CitizenFlame

    Hey Kent, do you or your European scouts know anything about Esa Lindell? I don’t know anything about him other than a big (6’3″ 194lbs) ppg (51 pts vs. 48gms)d-man playing in Finnish jr league. Another really late pick gamble could be Nikita Gusev, he looks like a Russian Gaudreau. He’s been passed over twice though so their might be something there or just the Russian factor.

  • CitizenFlame

    My point about adding Schenn to the deal is that I think we are not putting enough value on J-Bo. Another example would be J-Bo plus next year’s number 2 for deHann and pick 4. If we are trading him as a salary dump then we sure as heck better be moving Kipper and Iggy too.

  • everton fc

    Perhaps Carolina might be looking for a d-man like JBO? They certainly could use him.

    Ditto the Isles…

    Not to mention Columbus, but if you get that pick, you go w/Murray over Dumba. Don’t you?

    The one thing I think will hamper Dumba in pro hockey is his size. I like him, seems to interview well… All that… But his size… He may not be able to play that game in the NHL. Not at his size…

    It’s be a nice hometown story if Dumba landed here. I’m certain it’s his preferred destination!

    As for Ceci… I still like Girgensons. Citizen: I like the Finn you bring uo above. He’d be a nice later pick. If available.

    We need size and speed. Girgensons & Lundgren stick out to me. Is Wilson fast? I wouldn’t mind Tom Wilson in a Flames jersey either.

    All that said… If Ceci’s the pick, he may be NHL ready next season. This might be a factor of they move JBO and give Gio those minutes. Not sure I buy Butler as a #2 d-man – I think Butler & Brodie might be the 3-4 pairing. We’d still need a d-man to compliment Gio. A #2. Via trade.

    Garrison would be nice… As would Carle, who wants to live closer to his home in Alaska, and seems likely to be looking out West for a new home.

    Can’t wait for thge draft! Good work, Flamesnation – and all those who’ve posted here.

    (Perhaps they ink Desbiens to a minor league deal today?! Sorry – couldn’t resist!)

    • everton fc

      “The one thing I think will hamper Dumba in pro hockey is his size. I like him, seems to interview well… All that… But his size… He may not be able to play that game in the NHL. Not at his size…”

      All he needs to do is add some muscle. He is actually a couple inches taller than P.K. Subban, and Subban is a very similar player.

      “We need size and speed. Girgensons & Lundgren stick out to me. Is Wilson fast? I wouldn’t mind Tom Wilson in a Flames jersey either.”

      I’m confused, is it Lundgren, or Lundberg? You’ve said it both ways. Wilson skates like Ryane Clowe (not very well) and isn’t as skilled. Best case scenario for Wilson is a more physical Greg Nemisz IMO.

      • everton fc

        “He is actually a couple inches taller than P.K. Subban…”

        that should say “He is actually a couple inches taller than P.K. Subban was in his draft year…” oops.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Taking Ceci at 14 would make me a happy camper. I see the kid taking the same path and playing very similarly to the now breaking into NHL, Brayden Mcnabb.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Dumba is a bad skater. Well, let me clarify. He has wheels in one direction, forwards. His agility is pretty terrible because he skates like a knock knee’d stork.

  • everton fc

    It’s Lundberg. My bad. I grew up with a Lundgren. Always make that mistake!

    Don’t get me wrong – I like Dumba, too. My only concern is size. If he were a forward, I’d have less concern. If the Flames somehow managed to trade up for him, I think most fans would love that… He’ll be better than Phaneuf, in my opinion. Much better. Better head on his shoulders, from all reports…

    I still say stay the course and take Girgensons at 14… There’s a lot of depth on defence this evening…

    Perhaps the “skinny” you present on Wilson drops him down the draft order. I still like him. Not at 14, or course…

    Lundberg is compared to Homlstrom & Knuble. 6’3″, 209 lbs. He’s a big guy who’ll go to the net, and he’s durable. Some more info below. On day old:


    I say trade up into the 2nd and poach Lundberg. If he’s available in the 3rd when we pick – no brainer. My opinion, of course. Having Lunberg and Ferland on the left-side for the future (Glencross ain’t getting any younger, nor is Tanguay)… I like that depth, or as Feaster says, “those assets”.

    (Personally, I can’t stand Subban. Even though he’s a good player)

    • jeremywilhelm

      interesting that you’re looking at more depth on LW, since that’s just about the only thing the Flames have in abundance.

      Baertschi, Gaudreau, Ferland, Howse, Bouma are all LWs. On RW, the Flames are much thinner. Nemisz…. uh… Aliu… I’m out.

      Collberg is a RW… 😉

      I think Lundberg will be available in the 3rd round. Call it a hunch if you like, but he was (just) eligible last year. Personally, I prefer Troy Bourke, and not just because he has like the best name ever.

  • everton fc

    I’m looking at the best players in my eyes…

    Many on our left-side are aging. Howse may never make it past Abby, though I hope he does. Bouma’s a 4th liner, at best. Gaudreau may never make it, due to size. The more assets, the better. But I agree, we are thin on RW. Totally get it.

    Perhaps one of the above can move to the right-side with some degree of success. ??

    To me, Collberg’s too small. Girgensons is a better fit in my mind.

    I don’t mind Bourke, either. My dream is a large, fast team with some grit, willing to drop the gloves, but no goons. Guys who can score and open up space for the skill players.

    Big and quick on defence, as well.

    Again, a “dream”….

    • everton fc

      “Perhaps one of the above can move to the right-side with some degree of success. ??”

      more than likely. Most wingers can play either side to some degree.

      Girgensons is sometimes listed as a C/RW, so there’s that too.