Macklin Celebrini poses for picture after awarded Hobey Baker Award. LET’S PLAY HOCKEY PHOTO BY JACKSON BOLINE.

Nine NCAA players drafted in first round fo NHL Draft

 

LAS VEGAS – Boston University forward Macklin Celebrini, who won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as a freshman in 2023-24, was selected first overall Friday by the San Jose Sharks to open the 2024 NHL Draft at Sphere.

Celebrini, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, amassed 32 goals and 32 assists in 38 games last season and led the Terriers to a berth in the 2024 NCAA Frozen Four. He also garnered first-team All-America honors and won the Tim Taylor National Rookie of the Year Award.

Celebrini became the fifth NCAA player ever drafted first overall, joining Owen Power (2021), Erik Johnson (2006), Rick DiPietro (2000) and Joe Murphy (1986).

Michigan State defenseman Artyom Levshunov was selected right behind Celebrini, going second overall to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Zhlobin, Belarus, native, enjoyed an impactful freshman season for the Spartans, ranking second on the team with 35 points in 38 games to earn second-team All-America accolades.

It marked the second time since 2021 (Owen Power, Matty Beniers) that college hockey players went 1-2 in the first round of the NHL Draft and the third time overall (Rick DiPietro and Dany Heatley in 2000).

Denver rising sophomore Zeev Buium was taken 12th overall by the Minnesota Wild, who traded up with Philadelphia to select the standout defenseman. A native of San Diego, California, Buium led all NCAA Division I men’s hockey defensemen with 50 points in 42 games last season and helped the Pioneers to a national championship.

Seven incoming NCAA freshman were also taken in the first round Friday night, giving college hockey a total of nine first-round selections. Only the 2016 and 2007 drafts featured more with 11 each.

Incoming North Dakota freshman forward Sacha Boisvert went 18th overall to Chicago, kicking off a run of four straight NCAA recruits hearing their names called. Incoming Providence forward Trevor Connelly went 19th to Vegas, incoming Boston University freshman forward Cole Eiserman went 20th to the New York Islanders, and incoming Michigan freshman forward Michael Hage went 21st to Montreal.

Incoming Boston College forward Dean Letourneau (Boston Bruins) and incoming North Dakota defenseman EJ Emery (New York Rangers) rounded out college hockey’s night in the first round.

Also of note:

  • Nine NCAA players were also taken in the first round of the 2023, 2021, 2019 and 2003 drafts.
  • Tonight marked the fourth straight year in which multiple NCAA players were taken within the first five selections.
  • There have been 34 NCAA first-rounders taken in the last four drafts, the most-ever in a four-year span.
  • There have been 77 first-round picks from the NCAA over the last 10 NHL Drafts (2015-24) compared to 54 first-rounders over the previous 10 drafts (2005-14).
  • Boston College has had at least one player selected in 29 consecutive drafts, the longest such streak in NCAA history. Minnesota can match that streak tomorrow during rounds two through seven.
  • A total of 210 NCAA players all-time have been selected in the first round of the NHL draft, dating back to St. Lawrence’s Alex Campbell, who was taken second overall by Boston in 1964.

Rounds two through seven of the 2024 NHL Draft will be held Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Broadcast coverage will be provided by NHL Network, Sportsnet and ESPN+.

NCAA Selections in the First Round

No.

Name

Pos.

NHL Team

NCAA Team

2023-24 Team            

1

Macklin Celebrini

F

San Jose

Boston University

Boston University

2

Artyom Levshunov

D

Chicago

Michigan State

Michigan State

12

Zeev Buium

D

Minnesota

Denver

Denver

18

Sacha Boisvert

F

Chicago

North Dakota

Muskegon (USHL)

19

Trevor Connelly

F

Vegas

Providence

Tri-City (USHL)

20

Cole Eiserman

F

NY Islanders

Boston University

U.S. NTDP

21

Michael Hage

F

Montreal

Michigan

Chicago (USHL)

25

Dean Letourneau

F

Boston

Boston College

St. Andrew’s College

30

EJ Emery

D

NY Rangers

North Dakota

U.S. NTDP