Who is Joseph Cecconi
Joe Cecconi is a 6'2'', 205-pound defenceman from Youngstown, NY. He grew up in western New York and played for the Sabres Jr. team in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League. I confess I do not know much about the quality T1EHL system so if anyone does please mention it in the comments and I will add it here. I only know that it is an amateur league that development leagues (USHL, CHL, NCAA) are able to recruit/draft from.
He then advanced into the significantly more well known USHL. The stats are listed below.
It's always really tough to analyze these stats for stay-at-home defencemen. Cecconi put up 17 points in 60 games with 3 goals which isn't an indictment, but it's also hardly an endorsement. Normally when you see these bigger defensive defencemen, you see big penalty minutes numbers because of the rough style of play those skaters tend to have. Now 35 isn't a huge number either, but it's really not easy to denigrate a young player for not getting taking enough penalties. I look at the recruitment by Michigan and the Team USA selection positively as well.
What Are Others Saying about Him?
This is a third or fourth rounder so forgive the obscurity of some of these references.
Bill Hoppe from the Olean Times Herald:
"He does everything well – moves well, uses the size that he has," Central Scouting’s David Gregory said. "But his presence and how he uses the game from the back end is one of the most impressive things."
Cecconi’s calmness with the puck and mobility has impressed Gregory. So has his rapid development. He noticed improvements in just a short span during the summer.
Gregory wants to track Cecconi’s offensive improvements this season.
"He snaps the puck when he passes it, shoots it, so there’s going to be opportunities for him to be involved in offense as well," he said. "He was getting a little bit of power-play time, albeit it in preseason, and he’s on a good team, so we’ll see."
He added: "I think the upside for him is really solid."
Western New York Hockey Prospects has this to say from a short write-up on him:
Joe Cecconi is a player who has seen his stock rise significantly over the last two seasons...Cecconi has continued his solid defensive play this season and was named to the CCM All-American Prospects Game in September, a game played at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY that showcases the best American prospects for the upcoming NHL Draft.
Jeff Cox from one of our brother blogs SBN College Hockey had this to say about him:
Joe Ray from the Sabres NHL website had this to offer:
Standing 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, Cecconi is a self-proclaimed "true defenseman" who likes to stay at home, secure the defensive zone and make clean outlet passes to his forward teammates. When he returns to Buffalo to skate at First Niagara Center on September 25, Cecconi will have a chance to show off the skills that he has honed playing hockey in Western New York and beyond.
John Hartzmark of UofMichDiehards also had this brief comment on his style:
He is considered a stay-at-home defenseman, a Niklas Hjalmarsson type, one that will use the body, but will do the little things that are important when being a potential man on the top defense pairing. Some people believed that if he possessed more offensive prowess he would be a potential first-round pick. However, that does not mean that the scouts are not impressed with Cecconi and they also believe that he has a future in the NHL.
Not a lot of video on the guy. The video below is just a profile and the following one is a goal by Cecconi in a play that he's not typically going to find himself in. But a stay-at-home defenceman from the USHL projected for the 4th round doesn't generate too many highlights I guess.
An Opinion of Sorts
The fourth round sounds like the general time I would begin to be okay with a stay-at-home defender like Cecconi. Based on what I've posted here and some of the bits and pieces I uncovered in the research behind this article, I like what he offers. No one has anything bad to say about his mental game or physical game. A smart, physical, bulldog defender that has some offensive potential fits the bill for the area of the draft he's looking at. I wouldn't even consider the 3rd round.
Any of you guys seen Cecconi in action? He is from around here so if you've got some insight please do offer it. What do you think of the Devil's selecting a guy like Cecconi with a middling pick. Is a stay-at-home defender just not something that holds any interest? Leave your thoughts on the Devils and Cecconi below!