a.m., Aug. 30)
Former Cumberland Baron Cody Ceci makes case to crack 67s lineup
By Fred Sherwin
Cumberland Baron Cody Ceci made a triumphant return to the Ray Friel Centre
this week as he proved why the Ottawa 67s picked him 16th overall in this
summer's OHL Priority Draft. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Cody Ceci has faced a number of challenges in his life including having
to sit out half a season as Hockey Canada decided whether or not he could
play for the Peterborough Petes Minor Midget AAA team while he attended
Lakefield College prep school.
In his first
full season with the Petes, Ceci ended up tied for the team lead in scoring
with 24 goals and 53 assists in 64 games. His offensive skills combined
with his 6-foot-3, 188lb frame made him one of the highest rated defencemen
heading into the OHL Priority Draft.
The Ottawa 67s
had him rated in their top 10 overall, so when he was still on the board
at 16 they snatched him up with their first pick.
him ranked higher going into the draft and we were fortunate to get him
when our pick came up, says 67s general manager Brian Kilrea.
As happy as the
67s were, the Ceci family was even happier. Not only would Cody be playing
in Ottawa, he would be returning to Orleans after going to school in Peterborough
for the past two years.
When the 67s
announced they were moving their training camp to the Ray Friel Centre where
Ceci played for three years with the Cumberland Barons, the symbolism of
his signing and return to Orléans came full circle.
Despite his age,
he turns 16 on Dec. 21, Ceci is expected to earn a spot in the 67s starting
lineup when they play their season opener on Sept. 18 in Sault Ste. Marie.
Even though everyone
is projecting him to make the team, Ceci was still nursing a bit of anxiety
before training camp opened. He knew the other players were going to be
stronger, faster and hit harder than what he's been used to even at the
AAA level which is why he spent a good part of the summer in the weight
a lot faster than what I'm used to and the guys are a lot bigger,"
said Ceci after Saturday's scrimmage.
Ceci may have had before training camp disappeared as soon as he stepped
on the ice. Not only did he not look out of place, he caused even the club's
season veterans to take notice.
see that hes a big kid whos very poised and calm with the puck,
noticed 67s veteran D-man Tyler Cuma. He can handle the physical stuff
and he likes to jump into the rush. In a couple of years, hes going
to be a great player. Its pretty amazing."
That's high praise
indeed, but Ceci isn't letting any of the hype go to his head. He's focused
on the task at hand to the point where he won't even let himself imagine
what it will be like to skate out onto the ice at the Ottawa Civic Centre
for the first time.
not thinking about that. I'm just trying to show that I deserve to be here
and earn my ice time," said Ceci who is looking forward to trade in
his training camp jersey for a real game jersey when the 67s take on the
Gatineau Olympiques for their first pre-season game on Friday.
to be pretty cool. I grew up watching the 67s, so to get a chance to play
for them is pretty special."
If the 67s were
worried that moving their training camp to the far east end might hurt interest
in the club, their worries were quickly dispelled as every scrimmage was
well attended. The stands were filled to capacity and finding a spot along
the boards was all but impossible.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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