Weight: 170 pounds
Date of birth: January 14, 2001
Hometown: Vaughan, Ontario
Position: Right wing
OHL Draft: Round 7, 122nd overall, 2017 Priority Selection / Round 8, 121st overall, 2018 USHL Draft.
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: C Prospect. Mid-term: 95th, North America
Following in the footsteps of former teammate Jack McBain, Toronto Jr Canadiens forward Eric Ciccolini was named the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Top Prospect following the 2018-2019 season and is rightfully ranked by National Hockey League Central Scouting as the top prospect from the OJHL for the 2019 Draft in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 21 and 22.
And like McBain, Ciccolini is committed to playing NCAA hockey for the next four years (or less). But they won’t be teammates this time around as Ciccolini is heading to the University of Michigan.
Ciccolini played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2016-2017 season with the Vaughan Kings. In 27 games, he recorded 7 goals and added 15 assists. In 6 games with the Kings at the OHL Cup, he would add 3 helpers. The Guelph Storm selected him with the 122nd pick at the 2017 Priority Selection but were unable to obtain his commitment.
Ciccolini would begin his Junior A career with the Milton Icehawks a season later. He would appear in 23 games and score 12 goals while adding 7 assists. A mid-season trade sent him to the Jr Canadiens and he would finish the season with 17 goals and 13 assists in 47 games. In 11 playoff games with the Jr Canadiens he would score 2 goals to go along with 6 helpers.
Ciccolini is an offensively gifted player who can play both the wing and center. He has good size at 6’ and very good speed – both in first steps and top speed – with a deceptive separation gear. He’s an extremely good stickhandler and seemingly has the puck on a string whenever he’s in possession. He has the ability to make things happen at top speed.
Ciccolini also has very good vision and hockey sense. He sees plays developing and has an uncanny ability to slow the play down and wait for opportunities to open up. Perhaps his greatest offensive weapon is his shot which borders on elite. He gets the puck off his stick quickly and accurately and often times catches goaltenders by surprise.
If there is anything that might be underrated about Ciccolini it is his defensive game. Coaches trust him in any situation and to go up against the opposition’s top players. He uses the same hockey senses in his own zone as he does in the O-zone. He keeps his gaps tight, gets into passing and shooting lanes quickly and is very good at creating turnovers. He battles for pucks hard and is excellent at retrieving pucks. And his transition game is excellent.
What sometimes causes a player of Ciccolini’s calibre to fall at the NHL Draft is that a lot of teams don’t want to wait four years while he finishes College.
But for those willing to wait, Eric Ciccolini could be quite the find.