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Macklin Celebrini elsewhere than San Jose: an NHL recruiting director hesitates
Credit: Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

When we play “who’s going to draft who next month” with NHL prospects (it’s my favorite game, for those who want to play along), we all assume that Macklin Celebrini will be the first pick and that the game starts with the second pick.

After all, he’s better than the rest, and the lottery-winning Sharks have done everything but confirm in black and white that the forward will be the first pick at the next auction.

But is that really the case?

Since we sometimes have to question what we’ve learned, it can still be an interesting exercise… even if I’d fall off my chair if Celebrini were ever available to the Blackhawks.

The question is, who could top him?

As we learn from Corey Pronman’s article, one NHL director of scouting is wondering whether Macklin Celebrini or Anton Silayev would be his first choice.

Who would he draft first?

I wake up every morning with a different answer. – An anonymous NHL recruiting director

Yesterday, I was just writing a paper saying that seeing Silayev, an excellent left-handed defenseman, in the discussions to come out early. This gives the Habs, who don’t necessarily want a left-handed defenseman, more options.

This really shows that Silayev could/should be out before the Habs talk, leaving Kent Hughes with a more interesting pool of available forwards.

Pronman added that many talent evaluators feel that if Silayev had done what Artyom Levshunov did (play in North America in 2023-2024), he would have been in the discussion for the first pick.


Let’s just say it smells good for the Habs. If three defensemen go before pick #5, the Habs will have the second-best forward of their crop, which is ideal.

It’s worth mentioning that in his paper of the day, which is a mock draft, the same Corey Pronman has Celebrini in San Jose mentioning that he doesn’t doubt it.

In gusto

– Brad Marchand OUT tonight.

– Gardiner McDougall as Wildcats head coach… and his son as GM.

– Craig Berube is in demand.

– The Panthers are having fun. [JdeM]

– Not to be missed tonight.

– It’s stirring.

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