Macklin Celebrini, expected to be the No. 1 pick of the 2024 NHL Draft, won the Hobey Baker Award on Friday.

The Boston University freshman forward was voted the top men's player in NCAA ice hockey this season ahead of two other finalists, Boston College forward Cutter Gauthier, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, and University of North Dakota forward Jackson Blake, a Carolina Hurricanes prospect.

The 17-year-old is the youngest player to win the Hobey Baker and the fourth from Boston University to win it, joining Jack Eichel (2015), Matt Gilroy (2009) and Chris Drury (1998).

“It’s kind of been a whirlwind,” Celebrini told NHL Network of his season. “It’s a lot to take in. It’s gone by fast, and I’ve tried to enjoy it as much as possible. … All the opportunities that I’ve gotten, I really am just thankful that I was able to get them.” 

Celebrini, who is No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2024 draft, is third in the NCAA with 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) in 38 games. The youngest player in college hockey, he was named rookie of the year and player of the year in Hockey East. Celebrini is fourth player to win both awards in the same season, joining Eichel (2015), Paul Kariya (1993) and Brian Leetch (1987).

“This is an honor to receive this award and I’m truly humbled and grateful to receive it,” Celebrini said, “and I want to congratulate Denver and BC on their wins (Thursday) and wish them the best of luck (in the NCAA championship game Saturday).”

Macklin Celebrini on winning the Hobey Baker Award

Celebrini helped Boston University reach the Frozen Four, where it lost 2-1 in overtime to the University of Denver in one national semifinal at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Thursday. Boston College defeated Michigan 4-0 in the other semifinal.

"He's a special player and belongs in that special category because in every environment, every situation he goes, he can excel and that's hard to do as a 17-year-old," Central Scouting director Dan Marr said.

John Williams of Central Scouting said Celebrini (6 foot, 190 pounds) has an all-around game that could allow him to make an impact in the NHL similar to former Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews.

"As a 17-year-old, they have similar size and are similar in terms of their ability to play the full 200-foot game," Williams said. "For him to step in and do what he's done is phenomenal, so he deserves all the accolades he's getting."

Gauthier was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers with the No. 5 pick of the 2022 NHL Draft and traded to the Ducks on Jan. 8 for defenseman Jamie Drysdale and a second-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft. The 20-year-old leads NCAA players with 38 goals in 40 games and is second among NCAA players with 65 points.

Blake was selected by the Hurricanes in the fourth round (No. 109) of the 2021 NHL Draft. The 20-year-old is fourth in the NCAA with 60 points (22 goals, 38 assists) in 40 games for North Dakota, which was eliminated by Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Hurricanes on Wednesday.

University of Michigan forward Adam Fantilli, now with the Columbus Blue Jackets, won the Hobey Baker Award last season.

NHL.com independent correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report