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Celebrini Talks Playing Against Will Smith, Merits of Going Back to College

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BUFFALO – Macklin Celebrini is the belle of the ball at the 2024 Draft Combine.

The clear-cut projected No. 1 pick of the 2024 Draft, he got the podium to himself during today’s media availability. In contrast, fellow top prospects Artyom Levshunov and Zeev Buium shared the podium, as did Cayden Lindstrom and Zayne Parekh.

The future San Jose Sharks’ first-overall pick remained modest though.

“There’s been a lot of talk around that subject and that’s a possibility, for sure,” Celebrini said about being selected by the Sharks. “But at the end of the day, you never know what’s gonna happen.”

Except, we do, but credit to Celebrini for being able to keep a straight face. He’s clearly media-savvy!

Celebrini talked about getting advice from last year’s first-overall pick Connor Bedard, his older brother and Boston University teammate Aiden Celebrini, why going back to college could further develop his game, the challenges of playing against future San Jose Sharks teammate Will Smith, the best advice that he’s ever received, and more.

Celebrini, on Connor Bedard:

He’s a friend, we grew up a little bit together [in Vancouver]. At the start of this year, he reached out and said if there’s anything I need or anything I need help with, let him know. He’s there if I have any questions, but I haven’t used him very much.

Celebrini, on Aiden Celebrini:

He’s my best friend, I live everyday with him, fight with him, joke with him. Throughout this year, but also through my childhood, he’s always been there for me for whatever I need.

Celebrini, on how going back to college could help his game:

It would just give me a little bit more time to develop. There’s nothing wrong with just taking your time and improving a little bit more, getting stronger, getting bigger, and faster. In those ways, another year would benefit me, just to get more physically ready. Make sure I’m very fit and strong when I try to make that jump.

Celebrini, on the best advice that he’s ever received:

Probably stay present. I’ve been told that time flies by, and before you know it, I’d be here, and then, it’s five years later, wherever you are. But that’s something that I’ve definitely had to learn, just stay present, try to enjoy it.

Celebrini, on playing against future San Jose Sharks’ teammate Will Smith:

It wasn’t very fun. He’s a special player. I played against him for the last three or four years, so I’ve seen a lot of him. Super shifty, super smooth. Every time we went up against him, he lit us up.

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