Macklin Celebrini enjoyed a dynamic freshman season. ©2024, Rich Gagnon, Boston University Athletics

NHL Draft Lottery: Sabres likely won’t get chance to pick Macklin Celebrini, but should land strong prospect

The Buffalo Sabres possess the 11th-best odds in tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery, just 3 percent, meaning they likely won’t win the right to select center Macklin Celebrini, a prospect so talented he could transform a franchise.

Celebrini, a lock to be picked first overall June 28 at the NHL Draft in Las Vegas, just enjoyed a dynamic season at Boston University, becoming the youngest player in history and fourth freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award.

Two months before his 18th birthday, Celebrini, who scored 32 goals and 64 points in just 38 games for the Terriers, is being mentioned in the same breath as some of the NHL’s most dynamic players.

“I don’t like some of the labels being attached to hockey, but we’ll see it, these generational types, he’s a name that’s similar to (Connor) McDavid, (Connor) Bedard in the fact that he’s going to be talked about for the entirety of their career,” Dan Marr, the director of NHL Central Scouting, told the Times Herald. “He’ll be an impact player that can lead a resurgence for whichever team is fortunate to draft him.”

What makes the 6-foot, 190-pound Celebrini such a unique talent?

“His skating, his hockey smarts and the way he competes with them and the skill set that he has, that’s what makes him elite and No. 1 for us,” Marr said. “But it always comes down to the intangibles, basically how a player can beat you with his skills and attributes, and he’s one of these guys that he actually seems to thrive on being challenged.”

The San Jose Sharks, by virtue of finishing last in the 32-team NHL, have the highest odds, 18.5 percent, of winning that coveted first pick. A second draw will be conducted for the second overall pick.

The Sabres can advance as many 10 spots or move back two. If they stay around the 11th selection, the most likely scenario, Marr said “they’re going to end up with some very interesting options.”

“Everybody puts their list together in a different way,” he said. “They’re going to get a player that has the potential to be a difference-maker for their club when he gets to the NHL.”

The Rochester Americans roared back from a three-goal, third-period deficit Saturday in Syracuse to defeat the Crunch 4-3 in overtime and tie the best-of-five AHL North Division semifinal at 2.

Game 5 is Friday in Rochester.

2 thoughts on “NHL Draft Lottery: Sabres likely won’t get chance to pick Macklin Celebrini, but should land strong prospect”

  1. The Sabres need is at 3rd line Center. They should call the Isles about JG Pageau. Or move their top 2 centers back to 2nd & 3rd and go grab 30 goal Veteran Brock Nelson.
    He could definitely lead this Sabres team into a playoff position. The Isles would need a prospect or two in return, but hell, we’re loaded with prospects!!

    1. I follow the Sabres and Isles and also have discussed Pageau as being a near perfect fit for our team. Isles need youth, speed, and cap space. Buf needs veteran grit, improved faceoff and PK stats. Pageau for prospects seems like a logical move.

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