Off-Ice News

‘It’s a surreal feeling’: Macklin Celebrini wins 2024 Hobey Baker Award

Photo by Brendan Nordstrom.

Macklin Celebrini came into summer training with Boston University and ‘pissed off’ his new teammates.

Not because of an attitude or ego, but because of his competitiveness, of how hard he works. It’s a big part of the reason Celebrini won the 2024 Hobey Baker Award Friday at the RiverCentre in Saint Paul, Minn. 

“For a 17 year old to push a group of older players like that, it’s pretty impressive and says a lot about him and his character and about how much he cares. That’s why he is who he is,” BU head coach Jay Pandolfo said Wednesday. 

Celebrini became the youngest player to ever win the Hobey Baker, and the fourth Terrier to earn the honors alongside Jack Eichel (2014-15), Matt Gilroy (2008-09) and Chris Drury (1997-98). Cutter Gauthier (Boston College) and Jackson Blake (North Dakota) were the other two Hobey Baker finalists this year. 

With 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) through 38 games, Celebrini racked up the conference accolades throughout the season, closing it off with Hockey East Player and Rookie of the Year, the Tim Taylor National Rookie of the Year and, of course, the Hobey Baker. 

“It’s a surreal feeling. Being awarded such a prestigious award, it means a lot. It’s kind of just a whirlwind right now,” Celebrini said Friday. 

But there was one caveat: “Definitely would trade a national championship for that award.” 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

The comment was a familiar facet of Celebrini’s personality throughout the 2023-24 season – it was always team before the individual. For a player as gifted and highly-touted as he is, Celebrini was the first to credit his success to his teammates and defer to his gratitude to the coaching staff for putting him in a position to win. 

“It meant everything. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. I love that group, we’re like brothers. It meant a lot to have them here,” Celebrini said. “Those are relationships I don’t think any of us will forget.”  

Celebrini got to share this season with his literal brother, freshman defenseman Aiden Celebrini. While Macklin’s future plans are unknown, and the Terriers’ run came to an end Thursday in a 2-1 overtime loss to Denver in the national semifinal, the two are grateful for the time they’ve gotten to spend together in the Scarlet and White. 

“He’s my brother but he’s also my best friend, so to see him up there on that stage and win it, it’s a dream come true,” Aiden said Friday. “Growing up playing mini sticks together, going on open ice together, and then getting to experience that on this stage with him, it’s incredible.” 

Macklin and Aiden’s 12-year-old brother RJ has been along for the journey as well, albeit not on the ice. RJ said his favorite memory of Macklin this season was his two, first-period goals against Boston College in the Beanpot semifinal. 

“It’s made me a big BU fan,” RJ said Friday. “It’s been amazing. I’ve learned a lot from him. It’s just been amazing seeing your big brother up on the big stage.” 

When asked if he could see himself landing on Commonwealth Avenue sometime in the future, RJ grinned, “Yeah, that’s my plan,” he said. 

Photo by Brendan Nordstrom.

Celebrini has centered the Terriers’ first line through his freshman campaign while averaging 1.68 points per game and most recently skating with fellow first-years Shane Lachance and Jack Harvey in what turned out to be a dynamite trio. 

The phenom’s offensive flair was a given from the start, but the way in which Celebrini elevates everyone around him and displays such detail in all three zones is what has made him a star at every level of the game thus far. 

Beyond scoring game-winning goals and releasing rockets on the power play, Celebrini is blocking shots, hauling you-know-what on the backcheck and logging important defensive minutes in the dwindling moments of the third period whether up or down a tally. Celebrini, truly, did it all for BU this season – but he was never satisfied nonetheless. 

“He never takes a shift off, never gives anyone an inch, whether it’s in practice or a game,” Pandolfo said Friday. “That’s why I’m honestly not that surprised that he won this award, even though he’s 17 years old, just because of the first day he stepped on campus just looking at the way he was wired and how he was competing.”

Celebrini’s freshman season had a sour ending, but his impact and mark on the program remains profound. And now, he’s a Hobey Baker winner. 

“The last year, it’s been amazing,” Celebrini said “It’s been a special place to spend the last year.”


  1. Welcome RJ Celebrini (CAS 2034).

  2. 👍👏👌👊☝️ Congratulations to a man of great character, humility, and talent. PSD