Edmonton Oilers player review and 2023-24 preview: Cody Ceci
Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing2 months ago
Welcome to the 2022-23 season review and 2023-24 season preview player-by-player! In this and other articles, we’ll be, well, reviewing the 2022-23 season of Edmonton Oilers players and previewing their 2023-24 season. You can read about the analytics behind my analysis here.
Welcome back, Cody Ceci.
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It’s safe to say Ceci’s time in Edmonton has seen some high highs, and low lows. When the Oilers inked him to a four-year contract paying $ 3.25 million back ahead of the 2021-22 season, I was pretty optimistic this was a deal that could work for the Oilers, and in year one, that was the case.
Ceci enjoyed a career season scoring five goals and career highs in assists with 23 and points with 28. He played top-pairing minutes against top competition, and did more than enough to hold his own.
Last year, his second with the team, was anything but. His point totals fell to one goal and 15 points in 80 games, and his play in the Oilers’ zone wasn’t close to where it needed to be. There were rumours Ceci had been playing hurt through chunks of the season last year, but the coaching staff never seemed to adjust around it.
Despite that, Ceci continued to eat minutes playing a hair over 20 a night alongside Darnell Nurse. They were once again asked to play against top competition, but as the season wore on it became more and more clear that they were struggling to meet the lofty expectations they had.
But when the Oilers made the move to acquire Mattias Ekholm ahead of the trade deadline, the usage of Ceci and Nurse changed. Their time against the top competition was split more evenly with the Ekholm-Evan Bouchard pairing, and that was when Ceci played his best hockey throughout the season.
Heading into this campaign, I’d expect much of the same and I would expect a much different year from Ceci. While he may not post those offensive numbers like he did in his first year in Edmonton, Lord knows the team doesn’t need him to do that.
All they need from Cody Ceci is for him to play solid defensive hockey and help cover up for Nurse, who never shies away from jumping into the game offensively. I’m looking forward to what this pairing can do this season.
CECI’S CAREER SO FAR
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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