Like many other prominent prospects, Ottawa Senators 2012 first-rounder Cody Ceci hopes to become a full-time player in 2013-14.
One thing makes him a little different, or at least brings a different level of attention and pressure: Ceci is also a local. The 19-year-old is positive about the fact that he’s under that kind of spotlight, as he told the Ottawa Citizen on Thursday.
“I’ve played all my junior hockey here, pretty much, so all the people around here kind of know me,” Ceci said. “They’ve seen me play before so they know what I can do. I’ll just have to keep playing the same way I can and hopefully it’ll be good enough to make the jump to the NHL.
“There’s a huge upside to it. I’d love to play a game in front of all my family and friends in Ottawa.”
The local guy hitting the big time is a great story, but it will only go as far as Ceci’s skills and drive can take it. So far, he’s at least he’s saying all the right things.
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.