Macklin Celebrini Named USHL Rookie of the Year

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Top 2024 Draft Prospect Macklin Celebrini Named USHL Rookie of the Year

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL

The Chicago Steel have produced some absolute STUDS in recent years, including former No. 1 overall pick Owen Power (now with the Buffalo Sabres) and likely No. 2 overall pick this summer Adam Fantilli. On Tuesday, their new hot shot — forward Macklin Celebrini — was named the USHL’s Rookie of the Year.

I mentioned Celebrini yesterday when we looked at some prospects who brought the Wow Factor in the recent IIHF U18 World Championship tournament. He was an underage player in the tournament who was among the top scorers in the entire field.

He’s a stud, and you’re going to hear a lot of talk about Celebrini as we begin discussing the 2024 NHL Draft because he’s in the mix to be the No. 1 overall pick. He doesn’t turn 17 until June 13 this year.

Celebrini’s 15 points as a U17 player in the U18 World Championship is the most EVER for a Canadian player — more than Shane Wright, Connor Bedard and Connor McDavid (who all had 14 points in the tournament as an underage).

Another fun potential reason to watch Celebrini in the coming year is where he’s headed this fall. As a 17-year-old he’ll attend Boston University, where it’s assumed he’ll be a top-line forward. There’s a chance he’s skating on a line with Blackhawks prospect Ryan Greene for the Terriers this coming season; I absolutely LOVE the idea of players developing chemistry on someone else’s dime. And clearly the Blackhawks have a good relationship with BU with Alex Vlasic, Drew Commesso and Greene all being part of that program recently.

Celebrini’s numbers in the USHL with Chicago this past season were hilarious for a player his age — why he won the Rookie of the Year award today. 46 goals in 50 games? C’mon.

So when you start thinking about your 2024 Mock Drafts for the Blackhawks, circle the name Macklin Celebrini on your sheet.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab