Who is Macklin Celebrini? 5 things to know about the top NHL Draft prospect

Celebrini is widely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft this June.

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As teams continue to get eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, more eyes are turning toward June's NHL Draft.

The draft order for non-playoff teams will be determined by the lottery on Tuesday -- and there's a major prize awaiting the winner.

Boston University's Macklin Celebrini is the consensus top prospect after a standout freshman season for the Terriers.

Here are five things you need to know about the Canadian forward:

1. Celebrini is the youngest player to win the Hobey Baker Award

In his first and only season playing collegiate hockey, Celebrini was recognized as the top men's player in the country with the Hobey Baker Award. At just 17 years old, he became the youngest player to ever win the award -- and just the fourth freshman in 44 years.

But that's not all -- Celebrini racked up plenty of awards in his single season at BU:

  • Hockey East Player of the Year
  • Hockey East Rookie of the Year
  • Tim Taylor Award (nation's most outstanding freshman)
  • All-Hockey East First Team
  • Hockey East All-Rookie Team
  • Hockey East Scoring Champion
  • Hockey East Three-Stars Award
  • AHCA East First Team All-American

2. Celebrini is already suiting up for the Canadian national team

Celebrini, a Vancouver native, made his debut for Team Canada with the under-17 team at the 2022 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. The next year, he made the under-18 team and played in the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship. Celebrini then joined the national junior team at the 2024 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, played last December and January during the college season.

Now, after helping lead BU to a Frozen Four appearance, Celebrini has accepted an invite to make his senior national team debut at the 2024 IIHF World Championship -- which will be held from May 10 to 26 in the Czech Republic.

3. Before college, Celebrini played in the USHL

Celebrini had a standout 2022-23 season in the United States Hockey League (USHL) before attending Boston University. While suiting up for the Chicago Steel, Celebrini led the league with 86 points -- the most ever by a player under 17 years old. He was named Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Forward of the Year, the first player to earn all three awards in a single season.

The Chicago Steel have a long history of putting players into the NHL. Adam Fantilli (No. 3 pick in 2023) and Owen Power (No. 1 pick in 2021) are two of the recent success stories, with Celebrini next to follow in their footsteps. He could return to the city next season, too -- the Chicago Blackhawks hold the second-best odds to win the draft lottery (13.5%).

4. The Celebrini family has a history in multiple sports

Sports have been a staple of the Celebrini family for as long as Macklin can remember. His father, Rick, played soccer for the Vancouver 86ers, then worked for the Golden State Warriors as their current vice president of player health and performance.

Macklin's older brother, Aiden, was drafted by the Canucks in the sixth round last year. Instead of joining their home club, the elder Celebrini opted to play with his younger brother at BU.

5. Celebrini has ties to the San Jose Sharks, his most likely NHL home

With his father working for the Warriors, Celebrini has deep ties to the Bay Area. He played for the San Jose Jr. Sharks’ U-14 squad in the 2019-20 season, where he had 49 goals and 94 points in 54 games while competing with players one year older.

Celebrini's NHL future could lead him back to San Jose, with the Sharks holding the best odds to win the draft lottery (25.5%). The Sharks were an NHL-worst 19-54-9 this season, their fifth straight year with a losing record.

Here's everything to know about the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery.
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