Celebrini Hobey Baker

Macklin Celebrini, a center at Boston University in Hockey East, is filing a draft diary for NHL.com this season leading up to the 2024 NHL Draft.

The 17-year-old center (6-foot, 190 pounds) and native of North Vancouver, Canada, is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.

Celebrini, the youngest player in NCAA Division I men's hockey this season and the youngest to win the Hobey Baker Award presented annually to recognize the top NCAA men's hockey player, led Boston University in goals (32) and points (64) in 38 games. He also was named Hockey East Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year, joining Jack Eichel (2015), Paul Kariya (1993) and Brian Leetch (1987) as the only players to win the awards in the same season.

Hi hockey fans.

It was a bittersweet finish to the season, to say the least.

The 2-1 loss to the eventual national champion Denver in the semifinals of the Frozen Four (on April 11) was tough. I think we played one of our best first periods of the tournament. I felt we played a pretty consistent game but made a couple of mistakes that obviously cost us. We had a lot of chances that we needed to finish, and I feel like, overall, we left a lot on the table that we should have capitalized on to get that game to go our way (Boston University outshot Denver, 34-29).

I think you have to give a lot of credit to their goalie (Matt Davis). He played a really good game. But, also, I felt like I had some chances (seven shots on goal) as well that I felt I needed to capitalize on. Those are chances that you need to score, and I just didn't.

I wasn't really focused on the Hobey Baker Award at first, but after we lost to Denver and the announcement was coming up, it was obviously something I wanted to accomplish and win. But, either way, I was just happy to be in that position.

When I had to make a speech after the announcement, I just wanted to thank all the people who helped get me to this point. I feel like that's all you can do in that moment. After the announcement, I got a text message of congratulations from (former Boston University players and Hobey Baker winners) Chris Drury and Matt Gilroy, and that was pretty cool.

The fact my teammates and coaches were there and we were able to get a picture was amazing. It meant a lot to me because my teammates and coaches were the ones I battled with all season. They put me in that position to be successful and have those moments. It was really special to share that with all of them.

It was great to see Boston University teammate Lane Hutson sign his contract and even get two assists in two games with the Montreal Canadiens late in the NHL regular season. I don't think any of us are really surprised with what he was able to do at that next level and I think he's just going to keep building on it because he's such a special player.

I know the NHL Draft Lottery is going to happen soon and, like anyone else, I'm curious. As is the case in any other year, you want to see it. I've grown up watching the draft and watching these prospects so in that sense I don't think it's any different, but I am curious to see how it all unfolds.

With regard to next season, we didn't win anything at BU as a team this year so there's definitely some unfinished business that would drive that decision in that way. But I haven't really decided which way I'm going to go yet, and I'm going to have to wait to make that decision later.

Thanks for reading this month. Enjoy the Stanley Cup Playoffs.