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Macklin Celebrini



Skating:

Absolutely incredible. He's one of the best skaters I've watched period, up there with MacKinnon, McDavid, Larkin, etc. He doesn't quite have the edgework or the stop-start of some of those guys, but the open-ice speed is comparable and even more impressive he's just as fast when carrying the puck.


Passing/Handling:

His passing and handling are both very good. Adding the puck doesn't seem to slow him down much and he can hit teammates anywhere on the ice.


Shooting:

I think this is what could hold Celebrini back from being generational. The shot is fine, but he airmailed a few too many from the high slot for my liking, and isn't much of a threat to score from lower-danger areas like Matthews, Ovi, or Bedard are. He's got great finish from the inner slot, on odd-man rushes, and on breakaways, but I don't think he's a pure sniper. I wouldn't doubt him hitting the 50 goal mark though.


IQ (Vision, Anticipation, Panic/Poise):

Elite. This combined with his skating is what makes Celebrini so deadly. He moves with the puck at such a high rate of speed, into such dangerous places, that he opens up lanes for teammates. He's aware of these lanes, and can thread passes across his body on a dime. He's going to be extremely dangerous when paired with NHL-quality wingers.


Forechecking:

He's not Matty Beniers, but he can play a physical, grindy game as needed.


Defense:

No noticeable holes here. He has a more mature game than many prospects his age.


Best Asset:

Skating. He seems to be threatening every rush because of the speed he bears down on guys.


Biggest Concern:

Honestly none.


Top Tier/Role Potential:

Generational 100+ point player


Justification for Top Tier Assessment:

His IQ, skating, and stick skills are already in the upper echelon of NHL players. Improving the shot, maturing physically and professionally, and continuing to hone his craft could easily push him to be a perrenial Hart contender.


50th Percentile Tier/Role:

70 point all-situations C


Justification for 50th Percentile Tier Assessment:

I'd be shocked if things don't click for him and quickly, but even if they don't he has the potential to be dangerous on any given play, and that's enough to be a very good NHL player.


Stylistic Comparable:

Nikita Kucherov


Scouts Final Thoughts and Additional Stats/Info:

Two additional reasons to be excited about Celebrini


1) he's a late birthday. He's a Hobey Baker finalist and playing in the NCAA Tourney and still is 17. That's unheard of, let alone if he wins the Hobey (he has a shot)


2) He hasn't really played with any surefire NHL talent since Shattuck's. In the USHL his best teammates were 3rd round picks, and at BU he's playing with 2nd-6th round picks at even strength. He does get Hutson on the PP though.



I will go out on a limb and say Celebrini is closer to Bedard than many people think. He'll never be the scorer Bedard is, but his speed and vision may be better, and he's 2 inches taller which should help the adjustment. I think these two could end up in a Ovi-Crosby type debate throughout their careers.


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