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Grant McCagg doesn’t know if he’ll take Connor Bedard before Macklin Celebrini

Connor Bedard really impresses me. Like everyone else, I knew he was an excellent player, but I didn’t think he’d make this kind of transition from the WHL to the NHL.

Yet, in 34 games, he has 32 points. Yesterday, he scored both his team’s goals in a 2-1 overtime win. He really is his team’s MVP.

Another player to keep an eye on from next year onwards is Macklin Celebrini. Like Bedard, the Canadian prospect will also be selected first overall in his draft. Over the past few months, I’ve heard a lot of talk that Celebrini isn’t Bedard, but “he’s still a hockey player”… Grant McCagg doesn’t buy it, however. In his opinion, Celebrini is superior to Bedard in several categories, and if both were to be drafted at the same time, he doesn’t know who he’d take first.

As the former Habs scout mentioned, Bedard has the shot, but when it comes to vision, playmaking, defensive play and skating, “Bedard has nothing on Celebrini”. He even went so far as to say that Celebrini may even be superior to his compatriot.

Surprising, isn’t it?

We’ll see if the future first choice has as good a start to his professional career as Bedard. One thing’s for sure: there’s no doubt he’ll have a top-two center role with a team from the very first games of the 2024-2025 season.

Worst of all, that role could be in Chicago, with Bedard. As of today, the Blackhawks have a 13.5% chance of winning the lottery. That’s second only to the Sharks.

The Chicago organization will therefore be able to add another CMJ-dominant prospect to its ranks.

McCagg also added that the coaches won’t have to accommodate him for long. He’s already a complete free agent.

The former scout also mentions that in an exchange with a scout, the latter said Celebrini was ” amazing “. But this scout is known to be very strict, and in his 20-year career, he has never described a prospect in this way, not even Bedard.

Maybe the best season for tanking was 2023-2024, not 2022-2023 after all…

In any case, I can’t wait to see Celebrini in the NHL, but for now, I think it will be extremely difficult to unseat the Blackhawks’ protégé.

In gusts

– He’ll be excellent.

– Journalist threatens to report Canucks for blackmail. [HF]

– Indeed.

– Nice surprise.

– To be continued.

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