Macklin Celebrini's Freshman Dominance Earns Him NCAA Honours

2024 Beanpot Tournament - Championship
2024 Beanpot Tournament - Championship / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

A dream scenario for the Montreal Canadiens would be winning the NHL Draft lottery and securing the right to draft Macklin Celebrini.

The Boston University Terriers freshman had a dominant season in the Hockey East division. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia., Celebrini has a ridiculous statline of 30-25-55 through 33 games. Each time that he touches the ice, is merely a matter of when and not if he will do something special.

Everywhere that he goes, he produces goals, assists and highlight reel plays, seemingly out of nowhere. In the United States Hockey League he dominated in his lone season, which was mighty impressive against his age group. But to make the jump to the NCAA, playing against some opponents seven to eight years his senior, is ridiculous.

He may not be mentioned in the same echelon as Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews or even the 2023 first-overall selection Connor Bedard. But he is an elite prospect in every sense and I would be surprised if he didn't begin his NHL career at the start of the 2024-25 season. Celebrini has proven that he is too talented for the college ranks.

It's a dream at this point, but watching the chemistry he and Canadiens' 2023 second-round draft pick Lane Hutson have developed, stirs up ideas. The left-shot one-timer on the right side is already NHL-calibre and he is only 17 years old. For the Canadiens power-play, which lacks true dynamism, a pure left-shot sniper would set the team up for great success.

There are some great options that he could slot alongside to balance out the Habs' top six as well. Celebrini could slot in right away on the second line with Kirby Dach and Joshua Roy or Alex Newhook. This move would give the Canadiens a true double-headed monster for their top-six attack.

Anyways, whoever gets Celebrini is getting a prospect that immediately skyrockets to the top of their prospect pool. In short order, he will also etch himself out as the organization's top-line centre. Unless of course, it ends up being Chicago, who already has Bedard; in which case one will slot on the wing.

There's the impressive skating and offensive skill that set off his game, which is impressive. His hockey IQ is off the charts, but his two-way play sets him apart from most other prospects his age. Comparisons to Jonathan Toews have been suggested, which is pretty darn good for any player, never mind one that is only 17.

Celebrini is the undisputed top player of the 2024 Draft class and the Terriers dominance can thank him for that.