The 2024 NHL Scouting Combine is taking place this week at KeyBank Center and LECOM HarborCenter in Buffalo. The combine will allow NHL teams an opportunity to conduct interviews and provide physical and medical assessments of the top prospects eligible for the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft. NHL.com will bring you all the sights and sounds.

BUFFALO -- Macklin Celebrini met with the San Jose Sharks on Monday, the first of his seven scheduled interviews this week at the NHL Scouting Combine.

The Boston University center is the projected No. 1 pick in the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Sphere in Las Vegas. The first round is June 28 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

The Sharks won the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery on May 7.

"The interview was good, it went really well," Celebrini said. "It was great to kind of meet everyone. It was a great experience. I've heard a lot about (Sharks) general manager Mike Grier while at Boston University, so it was good to finally meet him."

Grier played three seasons at BU (1993-96) and was chosen by the St. Louis Blues in the ninth round (No. 219) of the 1993 NHL Draft.

The Chicago Blackhawks have the No. 2 pick in the 2024 draft. The Anaheim Ducks own the No. 3 selection.

"I think at the combine, it's just more about meeting people and showing the kind of person I am," Celebrini said. "I feel like that's almost more important than the on-ice, just being a good person. I feel like that's something you don't see through videos. It's more just interactions with people, so I think that's something that I kind of want to show."

Celebrini (6-foot, 190 pounds) was the youngest player in NCAA Division I men's hockey this season and the youngest to win the Hobey Baker Award, presented annually to recognize the top NCAA men's hockey player. He was second among NCAA players with 32 goals and third with 64 points in 38 games. 

The 17-year-old left-handed shot still hasn't determined if he will return to BU or turn professional in 2024-25. 

"I haven't made up my mind yet," he said. "That's a decision that I'm going to make a little bit later. I wish I could tell you I've made up my mind because that'd be a lot easier."

Celebrini hasn't played competitive hockey since April 11, when BU lost 2-1 in overtime to the University of Denver in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

"I've been skating a lot in Vancouver," Celebrini said. "I have a group there that I skate with and then I just started my offseason strength and conditioning program."

Lindstrom's health

Cayden Lindstrom, who won the Canadian Hockey League's Top Draft Prospect Award, will not participate in all the testing at the combine this week for precautionary reasons after sustaining a back injury in December, according to his agent Daren Hermiston. 

"He's going to test on a few of the physical portions of it and there's a couple he's staying away from that he has exemptions on," Hermiston said. "There's a few things we're staying away from for the time being that aren't being advised by his trainers."

The 18-year-old center had 46 points (27 goals, 19 assists) in 32 games prior to the injury that ended his regular season in Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League. Lindstrom scored a goal in 19 of 32 games (59 percent), which included eight multigoal games.

His health will likely be a topic of discussion among the 19 club interviews he has scheduled this week.

"We've used an NHL team's physician since Christmas on this injury and on [May 24] I provided Central Scouting with the report," Hermiston said. "The report from the NHL team physician and Cayden's physiotherapist was given to all 32 NHL teams.

"The summary of the report is that Cayden is going to make a full recovery. His back has been good for a while, and he's back to training five days a week and he's on the ice. All the NHL clubs have the report, they have the MRI, and they know the doctor's opinion is that he's going to make full recovery."

At the time of the injury, Lindstrom, considered to be an elite power forward of this draft, was on pace to score at least 57 goals. He played just four of five WHL playoff games and was not released to Canada for participation in the 2024 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in May as a precaution. 

NTDP well-represented

There are 10 players from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 team attending the combine, including seven forwards and three defensemen.

Cole Eiserman (6-0, 195), a left wing, is one of two from the program projected to be chosen in the first round, with center Kamil Bednarik. Eiserman, No. 12 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, led the NTDP with 58 goals and 25 power-play goals and ranked second in points (89) in 57 games this season. He had 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in seven games to help the United States to a silver medal at the 2024 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Bednarik (6-0, 185), who is No. 28, had 65 points (26 goals, 39 assists) in 61 games.

Eiserman and Bednarik are each committed to Boston University next season. 

"When I think back on this year's team at the NTDP, I'll remember the hard times we went through, a lot of workouts, a lot of hard skates, a lot of stress on the body, and being together," Eiserman said. "Doing those things together is something that's special at the NTDP, so that's definitely the No. 1 thing I'll remember about this year."

Finding Frasca

Gabriel Frasca has been presented a great opportunity to make a name for himself at the combine.

The six-foot, 175-pound center with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League, is No. 85 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters and a projected third-round pick in the 2024 draft.

"I was just excited to be invited ... it was something that was in the back of my mind, something that I was proud of and am excited for," Frasca said. "I have a good amount of interviews this week. I feel my hockey IQ and my shot are my best attributes; being able to create plays and use my shot to create better scoring chances."

Frasca missed the first quarter of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He returned to Dec. 1 and had 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists), 123 shots on goal and four game-winning goals, including three in overtime in 44 games. 

"I think it took Frasca a while to find his timing and legs after his injury," NHL Central Scouting's Nick Smith said. "He has some high-end puck skills with a good head for the game. He has a good shot and that knack for timely scoring. Factoring in he had an impressive rookie season I don't think he had the year he was hoping for, and the combine could help his stock in letting teams know he means business."

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