Macklin Celebrini, No. 1 pick in 2024 NHL Draft, signs entry-level contract with Sharks


With pen to paper Saturday, the San Jose Sharks officially moved into the Macklin Celebrini era.

The No. 1 pick of the 2024 NHL Draft and Hobey Baker Award winner as a freshman NCAA star waved goodbye to his college career and turned pro in signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Sharks.

“Obviously there’s a lot of excitement here,” Celebrini said Thursday. “It’s a super exciting time and I’m thrilled to see where this thing goes.”

From the moment they won the draft lottery on May 7, the Sharks had been anticipating this day. Celebrini, who turned 18 on June 13, was considered the definitive top choice in last month’s draft. A native of Vancouver who played a year in the Jr. Sharks program after his family relocated to the Bay Arena, Celebrini became the youngest player to win the Hobey Baker as collegiate hockey’s top player.

In 38 games during his first and only season at Boston University, Celebrini had 32 goals and 32 assists. His 64 points ironically finished only seven behind NCAA leading scorer Will Smith, who was the No. 4 pick of the Sharks last year and signed his entry-level contract on May 28 after leaving Boston College.

“Macklin is not only a special player on the ice, but he is a poised, confident and intelligent young man off of it,” San Jose general manager Mike Grier said in a statement. “His combination of skills and hockey sense is rare, and we are extremely confident that he is ready to make the transition to being a full-time NHL player. We could not be more excited to have Macklin locked in to formally join the Sharks organization for the 2024-25 season.”

Celebrini attended his first Sharks development camp this week and the organization’s intrasquad scrimmage for its top prospects drew roughly 3,000 on Thursday in part because of his presence. Commemorative towels were handed out for the occasion. The center, seen as a potential franchise player, has drawn projective NHL comparisons to Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews because of his all-around game.

The Sharks finished last in the NHL with a 19-54-9 record. Celebrini could make his NHL debut on Oct. 10 when San Jose hosts St. Louis on opening night.

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(Photo: Kavin Mistry / NHLI via Getty Images)



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