Last week, we discussed some prospects who had a great season and really elevated their prospect stocks in 2012-13. This week, we're looking at the flip side, profiling some top prospects who either encountered some bumps or performed below expectations.
These notes are based on my observations and discussions with industry sources.
D Cody Ceci, Ottawa Senators (Owen Sound-OHL): Ceci was actually named an OHL second-team All-Star and ranked second among OHL defensemen in scoring. Even with that in mind, scouts I talked to came away with mixed feelings about Ceci's play this season. While his offensive ability is not at all in question, his play at the other end of the rink left some concerns. "His defense looked very average, if not bad," one scout said.
The defensive-end struggles were more evident during the first half of the OHL season, which may not have coincidentally led to a lack of an invite to Canada's world juniors camp in his last season of U-20 eligibility. After being dealt from Ottawa to Owen Sound, Ceci's play picked up in the 27 games he played with Owen. He's a dynamic skater who moves the puck well, with a good shot. As he enters his first pro season, it will be interesting to monitor how Ottawa's staff works with him on his defensive issues.
D Mathew Dumba, Minnesota Wild (Red Deer-WHL): It was this time last year that some, including ESPN's Grant Sonier and myself, were suggesting that Dumba could be the top defenseman in the 2012 draft class after a tremendous 2011-12 season. While Dumba has not fallen off the map, and the seventh overall pick in 2012 is still a notably good prospect, he didn't have his best season.