Get to know Macklin Celebrini the future Chicago Blackhawk?

May 4, 2024  (3:35 PM)

Macklin Celebrin with the Puck
Photo credit: Boston University Athletics

Macklin Celebrini could be the next draft pick for the Chicago Blackhawks if they're lucky enough to win the lottery on May 7th.

The Blackhawks could utilize him as their #1 center, should Kyle Davidson and the Blackhawks win the lottery with a 13.5% chance again. Celebrini is an all-around package of a center, according to consensus.

The Hawks could also go the Oiler route, putting Celebrini and Bedard on the same line, like McDavid and Draisaitl. That is if the time is right for it.
«If Chicago gets (Celebrini), it'd be sort of like having the Jonathan Toews to Bedard's Pat Kane,» said Jack Han, the publisher of «Hockey Tactics» and a hockey consultant. «Not a perfect comparison, but it gives them a lot of flexibility of either playing them together or separately, like 19/88 back in the day. Hard to find a better fit for what Chicago needs, which is a top center who can do everything to free up Bedard.»

As Pronman wrote of Celebrini, «He checks every box you want in a top prospect and is one of the few players I've scouted where it's hard to see any noticeable weakness.»

According to Byron Bader Celebrini is the whole package:
«To put Celebrini in perspective, the only four forwards over the last four decades to have a similar freshman season in college which is also their draft year are Paul Kariya, Jack Eichel, Adam Fantilli and Macklin Celebrini,» Bader said. «Couple this with a superb 99th-percentile showing in the USHL in his D-1 year as well. Very few prospects look like this in the model spanning three and a half decades. All that have come before him have turned into superstars or on the verge of doing so, like Bedard.

«As well, Celebrini, born in June, is extremely young. To be this far out ahead of his peers in an outlier way and also be six months younger than the ones that typically look like this is another massive bonus of this prospect. Bedard shared a similar summer birthday as well as (Sidney) Crosby and Jack Hughes. The others to come before have all been older, relative when drafted. So, sky is the limit with this prospect. Could be every bit as good as Bedard in his prime.»

Chicago Steel Days

As a 16-year-old Macklin Celebrini was lighting the USHL up with the Chicago Steel, where many Blackhawks fans got a glimpse of the center.
At 17 years old, Celebrini played with Boston University and won the Hobey Baker Award, posting 64 points( 32 G, 32 A) in 38 games in the NCAA.
The 6-foot, 190 lb center is known for his elite production skills offensively, but his ability doesn't stop there.
«It's just his overall game,» Pandolfo said in December. «The maturity in his game for a 17-year-old, it's really impressive. The kid at that age that has that kind of offensive capabilities, for him to care just as much about the other side of the game, the defensive side. He doesn't take any shifts off. He plays 200 feet all the time. He works back on defense just as hard as he goes on offense.»

According to Blackhawks prospect Ryan Greene, who saw Celebrini in action firsthand on BU's 2nd line group, gave Celebrini a huge compliment:
«He's just got a motor that doesn't stop,» Greene said. «He's just got a bit of everything, like there's nothing that he can't do really. He's so dynamic and overall, just such a good player. His skating is great, transition, he possesses pucks, he can win puck battles. He can kind of do it all. He's been a good friend of mine so far this year, unbelievable guy, great teammate. So, I can't say enough good about him. He's been really fun to watch. He's been great for us.»

It appears according to many Celebrini's the only prospects in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft who're NHL ready as well.

While he hasn't shut the door on returning to Boston, he is open to jumping to the NHL immediately.
Bedard knows of Celebrini and what he is capable of, but hasn't entertained the notion of Celebrini joining the Blackhawks.
«I've watched some of his highlights and stuff and seeing clips,» Bedard said in February. «World juniors, I watched pretty closely. He's a special player. What he's doing this year is remarkable. I don't know if it's ever been done at his age. It's been exciting to watch a guy like that. The NHL is probably pretty excited about him coming in.»

What Celebrini could do for the Blackhawks is provide enough center depth for the team to have a huge 1-2 punch in the middle, with Celebrini, Bedard, and Nazar being the team's new center depth.
That is an exciting idea for this team.
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Get to know Macklin Celebrini the future Chicago Blackhawk?

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