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Kent Hughes: “Macklin Celebrini will change the culture of the team that drafts him”.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Lane Hutson has been the talk of the town in recent hours, and with good reason. The Habs prospect, who saw his NCAA season come to an end last night, signed his entry-level contract with the Tricolore today and will join the big club in Detroit on Sunday.

The question now is when he’ll play… but we suspect that, at the very least, he’ll be in uniform Tuesday night.

That said, it’s also a big day for a teammate of the Habs’ NCAA hopeful, Macklin Celebrini. The latter, who is expected to be drafted first overall in the upcoming draft, won the Hobey Baker Trophy earlier this evening. At 17, he became the youngest recipient of the trophy in NCAA history.

Celebrini’s season on the ice was richly deserving of the trophy, with 32 goals and 64 points in 38 games. That said, beyond the points, it’s the maturity and completeness of the young forward’s game that really stands out.

And Kent Hughes knows it. Inan interview with Jessica Lapinski for the Journal de Montréal, Hughes had this to say about the kid:

Macklin Celebrini will change the culture of the team that drafts him. – Kent Hughes

You get the sense that Hughes, who saw Celebrini play last night in Minnesota (he was there mostly for Lane Hutson and Jacob Fowler, but that doesn’t stop him from watching other players, obviously), is a big fan of the youngster and his maturity. He didn’t want to compare him to Jonathan Toews, but he was full of praise for the youngster’s character.

In fact, the Habs GM went so far as to say that he sees Celebrini as a future NHL captain. If he’s drafted by the Habs, I have a hard time seeing a world in which he “steals” the C from Nick Suzuki, but still: these are strong words from the GM.

Obviously, the Habs will have to be a bit lucky to get the chance to select him. Celebrini has a head start on his peers for the upcoming draft, and it seems almost impossible to imagine a world in which he isn’t selected first overall.

Simon Boisvert would definitely take him ahead of Connor Bedard to build a team, given his all-round game: it still shows he’s no celery stalk.

We’ll know in a few weeks whether Hughes will get the chance to pick up a kid who could transform his team’s culture (and we know how important culture is in Montreal), but if he does, the GM won’t necessarily be frustrated by the situation, quite the contrary.

And with Lane Hutson in town, reuniting the duo that wreaked havoc for Boston University this season would be very, very promising for the Habs.

In gusto

– Lane Hutson will wear #48 with the Habs.

– Really?

– If Lane Hutson reaches his full potential, it will have been a monster year for the Tricolore. Especially with Filip Mesar, Owen Beck and Adam Engström also likely to contribute.

– The subject is still causing a stir.

– Quite an image.

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