April 12, 2024

Celebrini nets Hobey Baker, becomes fourth freshman to score honor

Macklin Celebrini has netted the Hobey.

Celebrini, the consensus No. 1 prospect for the 2024 NHL Draft, won the Hobey Baker as the top men’s player in NCAA hockey this season, becoming just the fourth ever freshman to score the award.

“It’s kind of been a whirlwind,” Celebrini told NHL Network. “It’s a lot to take in. It’s gone by fast, and I’ve tried to enjoy it as much as possible. … All the opportunities that I’ve gotten, I really am just thankful that I was able to get them.”

The 17-year-old topped fellow finalists Cutter Gauthier (Anaheim Ducks) and Jackson Blake (Carolina Hurricanes) for the honor.

Celebrini is the youngest player to ever win the Hobey, and became just the fourth player win Hockey East Rookie and Player of the Year awards in a single season after Jack Eichel (2015), Paul Kariya (1993), and Brian Leetch (19887).

Celebrini also joins Eichel, Kariya, and Adam Fantilli (2023) as the fourth player to win the Hobey Baker as a freshman.

“As a 17-year-old in the NCAA, it would have been easy to see Celebrini get pushed around and willed out of games by older and larger opponents, but that’s not what happened,” FCHockey crossover scout Brandon Holmes said.

“Celebrini was one of the most dominant scorers in college hockey this year, showing a well-rounded dual-threat game that allowed him to put up the highest point total by a U18 NCAA skater since the 1980’s. Celebrini crushed any doubt there was that his game could translate to higher levels of play with more structure and bigger opponents, and showed himself to be a true elite offensive talent.”

Celebrini, who was also named a first-team All-American, finished the 2023-24 season with 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) in 38 games.

He finished second overall in the nation in goals (32), third overall in the nation in points (64) and shots (182), and seventh in assists (32). He leads all NCAA rookies in goals and shots and is fourth in assists, second in points, sixth in plus-minus rating (+25) and game-winning goals (4), second in power-play goals (12),and fourth in faceoff wins (317).

The 6-foot, 190 pound center had previously been named Hockey East Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year, named to Hockey East First Team, All Rookie Team and is the 2023-24 Hockey East Scoring Champion.

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