10:30 a.m., May 3)
67's make Orléans
native Cody Ceci first round pick
By Fred Sherwin
native Cody Ceci was the captain of the Cumberland Barons Major Peewee team
in the 2006-2007 season before enrolling at Lakefield College School near
Peterboroughin September, 2007. File photo
Barons product and Orléans native Cody Ceci may soon be plying his trade
at the Ottawa Civic Centre after the Ottawa 67's selected the 15-year-old
defenceman 16th overall at the OHL Priority Selection Draft on Saturday.
Ceci, who desn't
turn 16 until next December, came up through the ranks with the Cumberland
Barons before enrolling at a private school near Peterborough in 2007. After
being accepted to attend Lakefield College School, the swift skating 6-foot-1,
185 lb. blueliner tried out for the Peterborough Petes AAA minor bantam
The move stirred
up a hornet's nest of controversy when the Ottawa District Minor Hockey
Association refused to grant Ceci's branch-to-branch transfer request citing
a Hockey Canada regulation that only allows minor hockey age kids to play
within the branch they reside. Since Ceci's family lived in Orléans, his
official place of residence was located within the ODMHA.
It took the intervention
of Hockey Canada's executive before Ceci was allowed to play for the Petes'
major bantam team. This past season with the controversy far behind him
he scored 24 goals and racked up 72 points in 57 games playing minor midget.
As the draft
began, Ceci was hoping to get selected by the Peterborough Petes so he could
continue to go to Lakefield. When they chose someone else with their sixth
pick, his heart sank.
After he was
passed over by the next nine teams, the Ottawa 67's used their first round
pick to snap up the east end prospect.
For Ceci it was
the second best scenario he could have hoped for. Although playing for the
67's will mean that he will no longer be able to go to Lakefield, he will
at least be able to play in his own backyard.
"I was really
relieved because Ottawa's my home," Ceci told the Ottawa Citizen
after the draft. "It was between Peterborough (picking sixth), Guelph
(picking 11th) and Ottawa, so when I saw Peterborough pass, I was a little
bit frustrated because I wanted to stay at Lakefield. I was happy then (when
Ottawa picked him) because that's still a good atmosphere, so I didn't mind
at all. That played out pretty well for me."
The 67's had
Ceci rated 11th in the draft, so when they had a chance to pick him up with
the 16th pick they felt extremely fortunate.
to be a good player here for a long time," says 67's coach Chris Byrne
said. "We thought we were real lucky to get him at 16."
Ceci must now
earn a spot on the 67's defensive corps which includes Minnesota Wild prospect
Tyler Cuma and San Jose's Julien Demers. If one or both of the players make
their respective NHL clubs next season, Ceci will be a shoo-in to make the
team. If both players remain with the 67's, he will likely still make the
team but he will be slotted in as a number four or five.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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