United States Hockey League (USHL)

Macklin Celebrini Matches Canada Scoring Record At U18 Worlds

Macklin Celebrini Matches Canada Scoring Record At U18 Worlds

Macklin Celebrini scored 15 points, including the OT game-winning goal in the bronze-medal game, as he matched Canada's single-tournament scoring record.

Apr 30, 2023 by Chris Peters
Meet 16-Year-Old Sensation Macklin Celebrini

Macklin Celebrini matched Canada’s single-tournament scoring record at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship in spectacularly dramatic fashion. The 16-year-old Vancouver native scored the game-winning goal on a beautiful move in overtime to give Canada the bronze medal at the U18 Men’s Worlds.

Celebrini finished the tournament with 15 points, which matched the previous high set by Tyson Jost in 2016. He also surpassed the high for most points by a player 16 or younger for Canada in this tournament, moving ahead of Connor Bedard, Shane Wright and the one and only Connor McDavid.

Widely considered the top prospect for the 2024 NHL Draft, Celebrini was Canada’s best player in the tournament despite being the second-youngest on the team. He had points in every game except for Canada’s tournament opener and had a multi-point effort in five of his seven appearances in the tournament.

Canada was on the ropes in Sunday’s bronze-medal game, having trailed Slovakia 3-2 in the final minutes of regulation. 

With their goaltender pulled, Canada managed to get the game-tying goal late after Celebrini jostled a puck loose to Andrew Cristall, who found Matthew Wood alone in the slot for a wide-open look and he did not miss.

In overtime, both teams traded chances throughout the 10-minute three-on-three extra frame. If neither team scored in that 10 minutes, the medal would be decided by a shootout, but Celebrini wasn’t about to let that happen. 

Wood made a slip pass under pressure to find Celebrini in space. The youngster walked in all alone, putting a devastating move on goaltender Samuel Urban and slammed the puck home to kick off the Canadian celebration.

Now, with his bronze medal in tow, Celebrini is expected to return to the USHL in hopes that his Chicago Steel can win their second-round series against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. If they do, Celebrini should be available for the Eastern Conference Final. The Steel currently hold a 1-0 series advantage over Dubuque in the best-of-three second round.

Throughout this season, Celebrini has been making history. 

He smashed the USHL’s record for points by a U17 player, finishing the season with 86 points including 46 goals. The previous record was 69 points. He also blew past the goals record for a U17 player by a margin of 13 goals.

He has left his mark on the top junior league in the U.S. and next season is expected to enroll a year early at Boston University, joining one of the top recruiting classes in the country.

He will likely be the youngest player in NCAA men’s hockey next season, as he won’t turn 18 until June of 2024. Throughout his young career, regardless of where he’s been, he continues to set new bars and shatters already-high expectations. 

Get used to hearing his name a lot more over the next year.