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North Vancouver’s Macklin Celebrini youngest ever to win Hobey Baker Award

The hockey phenom has been recognized as the NCAA Div. 1’s top player at just 17 years old
North Vancouver’s Macklin Celebrini receives the 2024 Hobey Baker Award. | Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation / X

Not only has Macklin Celebrini earned the top honour in college hockey, he’s done it at the tender age of 17, younger than anyone to ever do it.

On Friday evening, Celebrini was handed the Hokey Baker Award amid the Frozen Four hockey tournament in Saint Paul, Minn.

The North Vancouver product is the youngest player in the NCAA this season, is No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking of North American players and is third in the college league with 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) in 38 games with his Boston University team. He’s also widely expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Celebrini stands out as one of the country’s top centres, showcasing a comprehensive, 200-foot game that balances elite playmaking with diligent defensive responsibility, said the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation in a write up on this year’s recipient.

“His blend of superior talent, hockey sense, competitive drive, and work ethic underscores his commitment to improvement, both on the ice and off it,” the foundation wrote, while listing the many accolades racked up by the young skater this season.

Among those are honours for rookie of the year and player of the year in Hockey East. Celebrini is just the fourth player to win both awards in the same season, joining the ranks of Brian Leetch (1987), fellow North Vancouver product Paul Kariya (1993) and Boston University alum Jack Eichel (2015).

“It’s a surreal feeling,” Celebrini told an NHL reporter after receiving the trophy. “It’s truly an honour to win the award.”

“It was a great season, I loved every minute of it. We had a great team, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the friendships, the relationships I made over the last year at BU,” he said.

While Celebrini helped lead his team to the Frozen Four, otherwise known as the NCAA Division I hockey championship, Boston fell 2-1 to University of Denver in overtime on Thursday. Denver went on to win the final on Saturday, shutting out Boston College 2-0.