Celebrini top players to watch Frozen Four

The NCAA Division I season reaches a crescendo this week with the Frozen Four and the awarding of the Hobey Baker Award to the best men's NCAA hockey player.

The NCAA Men's Tournament semifinals will be played at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday, with Boston University against the University of Denver (5 p.m. ET; ESPN2), and Boston College facing the University of Michigan (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2), with the winners facing off in the championship game Saturday (6 p.m. ET; ESPN2). The four schools have combined to win 28 NCAA championships, and the rosters feature 51 NHL draft picks, including seven selected in the first round.

Two of the three Hobey Baker Award finalists will play in the Frozen Four, Boston University forward Macklin Celebrini, the likely No. 1 pick of the 2024 NHL Draft, and Boston College forward Cutter Gauthier, an Anaheim Ducks prospect. North Dakota forward Jackson Blake, a Carolina Hurricanes prospect, also is a finalist; the winner will be named Friday (6 p.m. ET; NHLN).

Here is a goalie, a defenseman and a forward to watch on each of the Frozen Four teams:


Jacob Fowler, G (Montreal Canadiens)

The 19-year-old freshman is one of three finalists for the Mike Richter Award, which is given to the top men's NCAA goalie. He is 31-5-1 with a 2.20 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and two shutouts while starting all 37 of Boston College's games this season.

Fowler was selected by the Canadiens in the third round (No. 69) of the 2023 NHL Draft. He is the only starting goalie among the Frozen Four teams that has been drafted.

Eamon Powell, D (Tampa Bay Lightning)

The senior captain is a solid all-around defenseman who quarterbacks a power play that had a success rate of 29.9 percent, second among NCAA teams to Michigan (34.5 percent).

The 21-year-old has 38 points (5 goals, 33 assists) in 38 games. He was selected by the Lightning in the fourth round (No. 116) of the 2020 NHL Draft.

Cutter Gauthier, F (Anaheim Ducks)

The 20-year-old sophomore likely will be playing his final college games this weekend; he's expected to sign his entry-level contract with the Ducks after his NCAA season ends.

Gauthier leads NCAA players with 37 goals in 39 games and his 64 points are tied with Celebrini for second. Gauthier was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers with the No. 5 pick of the 2022 NHL Draft and was traded to the Ducks for defenseman Jamie Drysdale and a second-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft on Jan. 8.


Mathieu Caron, G

The undrafted 24-year-old junior spent two years at Brown University before transferring to Boston University this season.

He's 28-9-2 with a 2.37 GAA, .915 save percentage and two shutouts in 39 games.

Lane Hutson, D (Montreal Canadiens)

A dynamic offensive defenseman, Hutson is tied for the lead among NCAA defensemen with 49 points (15 goals, 34 assists) in 37 games. He has 97 points (30 goals, 67 assists) and 10 game-winning goals in two NCAA seasons.

The 20-year-old sophomore was chosen by the Canadiens in the second round (No. 62) of the 2022 draft.

Macklin Celebrini, F

The 17-year-old freshman is the youngest player in NCAA hockey and is tied with Gauthier for second among players with 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) in 37 games.

He was named rookie of the year and player of the year in Hockey East, is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2024 draft and No. 1 on NHL.com's Top 32.


Matt Davis, G

The undrafted 22-year-old junior returned Jan. 5 after missing more than two months because of an injury and has gotten better as the season has gone on. He enters the Frozen Four with seven straight wins and has allowed one goal in each of his past three games. That includes 46 saves in a 2-1 double-overtime win against the University of Massachusetts in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 28.

Davis is 21-5-3 with a 2.48 GAA, .911 save percentage and one shutout in 29 games.

Zeev Buium, D

The left-handed shot is an elite skater who could be a top-10 pick in the 2024 draft. He's No. 4 in Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters and No. 5 in NHL.com's Top 32.

An 18-year-old freshman, he is tied with Hutson for the scoring lead among NCAA defensemen with 49 points (11 goals, 38 assists) in 40 games, and his plus-32 is fourth among all NCAA players.

Jack Devine, F (Florida Panthers)

The 20-year-old junior is seventh among NCAA players with 56 points (27 goals, 29 assists) in 42 games.

He was selected by the Panthers in the seventh round (No. 221) in the 2022 draft.


Jake Barczewski, G

The undrafted 25-year-old played four seasons at Canisius College before transferring to Michigan to play as a graduate student this season.

He is 20-13-3 with a 2.81 GAA, .909 save percentage and two shutouts in 36 games.

Seamus Casey, D (New Jersey Devils)

The 20-year-old was an All-Big 10 First-Team selection. He has
45 points (seven goals, 38 assists) in 39 games.

Casey was chosen by the Devils in the second round (No. 46) of the 2022 draft.

Gavin Brindley, F (Columbus Blue Jackets)

The 19-year-old was named Big 10 Player of the Year. He has 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists) in 39 games.

Brindley, who centers Michigan's top line, was picked by the Blue Jackets in the second round (No. 34) in the 2023 draft.