Meet the Clan: Jono Ceci
Weight: 170 lbs
Previous Team: Estevan Bruins (SJHL)
Hometown: North Vancouver, BC
If you follow SFU Hockey, you’ve heard the name Jono Ceci. The longest tenured member of the team, he’s only four points behind the BCIHL all-time scoring record with 58 goals and 153 points in 89 regular season games — and with an explosive game last Saturday that saw him score a goal and three assists, it won’t be long before we can call him the highest scorer the BCIHL has ever seen.
But ask him about it, and he’s not focused on that.
“I’ve heard that, a couple of guys have asked me about it, but I don’t pay attention. I’m not one of the guys to go on the website and go through all the stats,” he says. “I just try and play well, try and produce for the team, and all that stuff will come if you play well.”
His real goal?
“To win a [BCIHL] championship. I have yet to get one since I’ve been here, and it would be a nice way to end a hockey career — win a championship with a good group of guys we’ve got in here.”
In his fifth year with the team, it was this kind of groundedness that got him the ‘C’.
“He came back for his fifth year, we wanted him to,” says head coach Mark Coletta. “He’s a class act, he’s going to get that record soon enough and we hope we can give him a BCIHL championship.”
Born Jonathan Ceci in North Vancouver on June 6th 1990, he’s been called Jono for as long as he can remember. The son of Don Ceci, a former NCAA Div I player for Cornell University, it’s safe to say hockey runs in the blood. Jono has also spent time coaching minor hockey with his father and brother Brian.
While growing up, one of Jono’s best friends was San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones, sharing a 1990 birth year and both coming from North Van.
“Martin’s been one of my best friends all throughout school, and play a little bit of hockey with him, not much, he was always another step ahead of me obviously, but one of my best friends still, it’s nice to have the summer and hang out with him quite a bit,” explains Ceci. “ And to see the great start he’s had this year, it’s been really good, one of the most generous guys you’ll meet and I’m proud to call him my friend.”
Notably, Jono is listed as the editor on the video of Jones’ Stanley Cup celebration.
“It’s pretty cool more than anything to see your buddy, to know it was your best friend, and to see him on the ice, and you can’t really believe it’s him in that gear. You can ask him questions about hockey and he’s experienced everything, he’s been on the World Junior, World Championship, he’s won a Stanley Cup, so if you need some advice you’ve got a buddy right there.”
Jono played major midget with Vancouver Northwest Giants in the 2007/08 season, before playing junior with the Grandview Steelers of the PIJHL (now called the PJHL), where he was named rookie of the year in the 2008/09 season.
He then took his talents to Saskatchewan, where he split time with three teams at the Junior A level — the Melfort Mustangs, the Nipawin Hawks, and the Estevan Bruins. In two seasons in the SJHL, Jono racked up 47 goals and 119 points in 108 games played.
But after two seasons, it was time for Jono to head to school, and for him SFU was an obvious choice.
“I came [to SFU] for the school and the hockey program. [Coach] Mark Coletta came to talk to me in my last year of junior, and it was a good chance to get a good education, and be closer to home. It was a pretty easy decision.”
A communications major with a minor in publishing, one of the things that Jono picked up quickly was the need to balance hockey with school — something that he has come to enjoy.
“School’s tough, you’ve got to work hard and you’ve got to find a way to balance hockey with it — it’s a lot like life. You’ve got to learn to balance everything. It’s been a good four years and I’m definitely happy I went through it,” he says. “It’s good, it’s fun. By year five, you get the hang of it so you kind of know what you have to do to be successful there, but Simon Fraser’s been a good school — it’s tough — but if you work hard, you’ll benefit from it.”
As captain, that’s one of the things he’ll help the new recruits with. But the leadership that comes with the ‘C’ is not something new to him.
“I’ve been an assistant captain for a couple of years, so I kind of used to the responsibility. I’m not a guy who’s going to chew out a bunch of players and all stuff, [but] kind of a more level headed guy, so trying to lead by example on the ice and go from there,” Ceci explains.
“We had some good leaders when I came in, and they did things a certain way, and you hear about other guys who did things a certain way, so you just try and figure out what you think works best, and try to bring together all the guys in the room and have a good product on the ice.”
On playing his fifth year with SFU Hockey, he explains, “[I] just wasn’t really ready to hang them up.”
Jono will have a chance to achieve his first BCIHL championship and become the all-time leading BCIHL scorer. Though the latter is something he cares little about — focusing on the team and the aforementioned championship — it’s something SFU Hockey fans are looking forward to, after years of solid play from Jono.