Zach Werenski already has 43 points. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Blue Jackets rookie Zach Werenski fond of time beside Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi

BUFFALO – Before Zach Werenski joined the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets, before the slick teenager began one of the greatest campaigns by a rookie defenseman in NHL history, he spent the second half of his last season at the University of Michigan playing beside Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi.

“I loved it,” Werenski said Saturday prior to the Blue Jackets’ 5-3 loss to the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

Werenski, 19, has quickly morphed into a star, ... Read the full article

Joe Cecconi is a sophomore at the University of Michigan. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi competing for spot on Team USA

BUFFALO – A few years ago, as Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi began developing into a notable defense prospect, the youngster possessed some offensive flair in his game.

Then the 6-foot-2, 218-pound Cecconi started evolving. Sure, he moves well and has a strong shot. But the University of Michigan sophomore understands he’s at his best utilizing his big frame and smarts.

That means he has morphed into a defensive defenseman.

“We love the size, and we know ... Read the full article

Joe Cecconi made the first cut in Plymouth, Mich., and will go to another USA Hockey camp in Buffalo. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Photo: Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi with Team USA

Right now, Youngstown native Joe Cecconi is participating in USA Hockey’s national junior evaluation camp in Plymouth, Mich., about a 20-minute drive from his college, the University of Michigan.

Come December, Cecconi, 19, will leave the Wolverines and wear the Team USA crest again in Buffalo, where he will skate in the national junior select camp. Cecconi, who will start his sophomore season soon, earned an invite thanks to a strong showing at the ... Read the full article

Joe Cecconi couldn't hide his excitement Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Youngstown native Joe Cecconi drafted by Stars

SUNRISE, Fla. – Youngstown native Joe Cecconi said he started getting “a little bit scared” as the NHL Draft wore on Saturday. The defense prospect still hadn’t been picked almost halfway through the fifth round.

“I was like something might not happen, I might not get chosen,” a smiling Cecconi said after the Dallas Stars selected him 133rd overall inside the BB&T Center. “But seeing Dallas was up and they called my name, the ... Read the full article

Joe Cecconi could be a fourth- or fifth-round pick. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Youngstown native Joe Cecconi’s dedication about to pay off with NHL Draft selection

Regina Cecconi remembers the first week she took her son, Joe, to an instructional hockey program at Niagara University. He was 4 years old, and she wasn’t quite ready to commit herself to the busy life of a hockey mom.

“I said, ‘Oh my gosh, if they think I’m going to start all my weekends at the ice rink, they’re crazy,’” Cecconi said.

Within two years, Cecconi was serving in all sorts of capacities – ... Read the full article

Joe Cecconi was smiling Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi poised to become high NHL draft pick

BUFFALO – About 100 family and friends watched No. 5 in white closely all night. Thirty sported neon green “Cecconi Fan Club” shirts, making them impossible to miss in the crowd. They brought spray-painted signs and three large cutouts of the defenseman’s head.

Forty-two youngsters skated in Thursday’s All-American Prospects Game, a showcase of the top U.S. talent eligible for the 2015 draft. Only one, Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi, who represented Team Olczyk, hailed from Western ... Read the full article