2024 NHL Draft

Macklin Celebrini Wins Hobey Baker Award, Becomes Youngest Recipient

Macklin Celebrini Wins Hobey Baker Award, Becomes Youngest Recipient

Macklin Celebrini became the fourth freshman to claim the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in men's college hockey.

Apr 12, 2024 by Chris Peters

Macklin Celebrini's 2024 NHL Draft season hit another high point Friday night when he was named the 2024 recipient of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. The 17-year-old phenom from Vancouver became just the fourth freshman to win the Hobey as most outstanding men's player in the NCAA and the youngest to ever claim it.

Celebrini joins Paul Kariya (1993), Jack Eichel (2015) and Adam Fantilli (2023) as the only other first-year players to take home the top individual honor. Unlike the other three previous winners, Celebrini is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft.

Celebrini, who also spent some of his youth in the California Bay Area, beat out Boston College's Cutter Gauthier (ANA) and North Dakota's Jackson Blake (CAR) as part of the Hobey Hat Trick.

He finished his freshman campaign with 64 points, which is third most among all NCAA players. He also scored 32 goals, the first of which came right here on FloHockey against Bentley. His 32 goals are the most ever by a player under the age of 18 in NCAA history. His 64 points are the second most ever by a U18 player. Celebrini will not turn 18 until June 13, just weeks before he is due to be selected at the NHL Draft in Las Vegas.

Celebrini's season was one for the ages, leading BU to the doorstep of the national championship game before the Terriers fell to Denver in overtime at the 2024 Men's Frozen Four. He was the top scorer on his team by 15 points and became the first BU player to score 30 goals in a season since Chris Drury did it in the mid 1990s. Celebrini finished with 32 goals, 32 assists and averaged 1.68 points per game.

He became just the fourth player in Hockey East history to claim both the conference's Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season. He joined Hockey Hall of Famers Kariya and Brian Leetch, and Eichel, in that exclusive club. Celebrini was also selected as an All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association and received the Tim Taylor National Rookie of the Year Award.

In addition to his exceptional offensive prowess, the 17-year-old has also been lauded for his commitment to two-way play, showing that he is as effective in his own zone as he is in the offensive zone. It's one of the more remarkable traits for a player that was the youngest in all of college hockey this season.

Celebrini will have a decision to make after this season. He recently told The Athletic, his decision about whether or not to sign in the NHL will largely depend on which team drafts him and the situation he'd be going into. Most believe Celebrini is likely to sign his NHL contract, but he won't know which team is drafting until the NHL holds its draft lottery in May.

Regardless of his decision, Celebrini's remarkable freshman season will be forever remembered, especially now that it comes with the Hobey Baker distinction.

Macklin Celebrini's 2023-24 Season Statistics

  • 38 Games Played
  • 32 Goals, 32 Assists, 64 Points 
  • 179 Shots On Goal, +25, 53.5% On Faceoffs
  • Most goals scored by a U18 player in NCAA history
  • Second-most points by a U18 player in NCAA history
  • Fifth-most points by an NHL Draft-eligible player in NCAA history

What Is The Criteria To Win The Hobey Baker Award?

  • Strength of character, on and off the ice
  • Contribution to the integrity of the team and outstanding skills in all phases of the game
  • Scholastic achievement and sportsmanship
  • Compliance with all NCAA rules, including being a full-time student in an accredited college or university and completing 50 percent or more of the season

More Macklin Celebrini Coverage From FloHockey

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Frozen Four 2024 National Semifinals:

Thursday, April 11:

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Frozen Four 2024 National Championship Game

Saturday, April 13:

  • 6:00 p.m. ET - National Championship at Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, MN (ESPN2/ ESPN+).

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