Which other prospects could one day join Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and the rest of the young Rangers on Broadway?
Blueshirt Bulletin will be tracking the progress of the next wave of youngsters as they compete and develop this season in the Canadian junior leagues, college and abroad.
Below is a compilation of scouting reports, buzz and analysis by scouts and hockey experts on Peter Ceresnak.
We’ll update this as the season unfolds with the latest news at the very bottom of this post.
Drafted: 2011 (6th round, 172nd overall)
Team: Peterborough Petes, OHL
2010-2011 stats for HK Dukla Trencin (Slovakia Junior League): 1g, 3a, 23gp, 16PIM, +0
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Scouting report entering the season from Blueshirt Bulletin staff writer and author of The Prospect Park, Jess Rubenstein:
“Peter Ceresnak surprised us as our first look at him at Traverse City was of a slow footed, slow reacting defender. Not the case tonight as the 6'3 defender showed us an improved stride but also a shot that had something on it. Clearly still a work in progress, Ceresnak is a much improved player since Traverse City.” (10/7/11)
What they’re saying:
Mike Morreale, NHL.com (12/2/10) – “The 6-foot-3, 209-pounder is touted as one of Slovakia's most physical players.”
Dan Stewart, Future Considerations (12/26/10) – “Scouting Report: Big physical stay-at-home defender…has decent skating ability but has just average speed…is quicker than you would think in his transitional turns and pivots…not much offensive upside here although he makes a solid first pass…at his best when keeping his game simple but can get caught running around in his zone…needs further refinement in proper defensive positioning…extremely physical and likes to line up attacking forwards for the big hit…clears the front of the net effectively and is hard to play against along the wall… Has moved around a bit this season but has continued his strong defensive physical role with each squad he has suited up with. Has improved his skating from last year and looks stronger as well. Should be effective in a physical defensive shut-down role for the Slovak’s.”
Radim Jelinek, Czech/Slovak Scout for Red Line Report (1/24/11) – “Ceresnak is already well built physically, strong on skates. Feet are a bit slow and heavy, passes are firm and can make good outlet but not smart or creative with puck. Defensively he is strong in battles and is tough to beat in 1 on 1 situations. However doesn´t read the play in own zone, when opposing forwards start cycling, collide each other, shift spots then he is not able to read those situations properly, picks up wrong player consistently, gets out of position, wanders around own zone without his player.”
Kirk Luedeke, Bruins 2011 Draft Watch (4/15/11) – “Nothing major to report on this defense-first player. He kept things pretty simple, but had trouble handling the smaller, quicker U.S. forwards especially when they forced him to move away from the boards and into the open ice. Has a pretty good stick for breaking up plays, but doesn't do a great deal to stand out either way.”
Oilers Draft Watch (6/19/11) – “Ceresnak was the team's best and most physical defenseman and was second on the team in defensive scoring behind Peter Trska.”…“Offense isn't really Ceresnak's game. According to Central Scouting, Ceresnak is one of Slovakia's most physical players and at 6'3" 209 lbs, he brings NHL size with that physical play. He began the season as "one to watch" on most draftnik's lists but slipped throughout the year, mostly due to a poor showing at the World Junior Championships where, although he was on the team, his ice time was limited.”
Kirk Luedeke: "Big guy, good stick and uses his size effectively. Doesn't have a lot of foot speed, but is fairly agile and as long as he's not in the open ice, can do a pretty good job against opposing forwards. Physical defender who uses his size effectively along the wall and in front of his net. Plays a highly conservative style, but has shown an ability to make the quick breakouts and outlets. Not a lot of upside here, but could surprise as a long-term project guy later on. He started out the season with more promise as a top-three rounder, but has fallen off."
Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus (6/25/11) – “Peter Ceresnak never really stood out in viewings. He showed a steady and somewhat advanced defensive game but he's not really a pro puck-mover.”
David Reid, Peterborough Petes General Manager (6/29/11) – “Peter will fit very well into our defensive group, along with excellent skills Peter brings international experience which will allow him adjust to the OHL quicker than most first year players.”
(9/25/11) The Prospect Park – “Ceresnak scored his 1st OHL goal when he scored at 1:49 of the 2nd period on a power play to give the Petes a 1-0 lead. Ceresnak looks like he is adapting to playing in North America as we see his biggest learning curve here is going to be his decision making speed.
We like how Ceresnak is showing a willingness to learn and it was Ceresnak who said he wanted to come play in North America that led the Rangers to make the deal to be able to draft him. It will be interesting to watch Ceresnak as the season progresses to see how much improvement he makes.”
(11/4/11) The Prospect Park—“Fellow Ranger Prospect Peter Ceresnak (2011 6th) also was scoreless and we wonder if he has already hit his rookie wall. Ceresnak is scoreless in his last 7 games and has only a -6 to show for it.”
(11/8/11) The Prospect Park—“ Peter Ceresnak was bumped down to second pair defense after the Petes traded for an overage defenseman was scoreless as well.”
(11/15/11) Hockey’s Future—“Also in the CHL, sixth round selection Peter Ceresnak, is adjusting well to the smaller North American ice surface. After an unimpressive Traverse City Rookie Tournament, Ceresnak took his place on the Peterborough Petes blue line, where he has played well thus far this season. Ceresnak is a long-shot to make the NHL, but he is very raw and will continue to work on skating and positioning.”
(12/5/11) As per Loose Pucks, Peter Ceresnak has been named to Team Slovakia for the World Junior Championship.
(12/20/11) The Prospect Park -- "Another giant of a player (6'4 203) who the Rangers decided to take a gamble on. Ceresnak is never going to make anyone forget about Brian Leetch but was worth risking a 6th on.
First Half: Started decently and was the top pair defender at the beginning of the season for the Peterborough Petes. The smaller ice surfaces of North America actually helped Ceresnak because speed is not his game.
Strength: Coachable and looking to improve himself as a player. Does not look to make the "perfect play" as he is learning get the puck on the net. Potential with some work
Concern: A big man with slow first step who is trying to adapt from playing one style of hockey to a much more physical game. Now do it while being thousands of miles from home in a strange country with few people around who speak the same language or have the same culture.
The "European Wall" will hit Ceresnak about the middle of Feburary so we will see what he has left in the tank then. Shoot more, hit more, get angry once or twice are all serious areas to watch.
Second Half: Ceresnak starts off by playing for Slovakia in the World Under-20 championships which we do not expect much from Slovakia as they have been in relegation round each of the last 2 years. Returning to the Petes will be interesting as their conference is close enough where 3 wins could put you as high as 3rd or 3 losses could knock you out.
Ceresnak has a good point shot and we want to see him use it more. Ceresnak is huge so use that size more as you do not have to fight to intimidate; hit a couple of people hard and they will not want to come down your side of the ice.
Improving his skating will have to wait until the off-season but Ceresnak is in good hands with Mike Pelino as his coach. A project yes but if he works out then you added another monster sized defender."
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