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Macklin Celebrini and Will Smith “will win Cups together”.
Credit: Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s not officially done yet, but the San Jose Sharks are expected to select Macklin Celebrini with the highest overall pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

Confirmation won’t come until the evening of June 28, but everyone agrees that the Sharks won’t be trading the top pick, and it would be ridiculous to draft anyone other than Celebrini with it.

With the addition of Celebrini to the organization, many are excited to see him playing with Will Smith.

Smith recently signed his NHL entry-level contract.

There’s a good chance that these two extremely talented young players will be playing with the Sharks in the NHL this fall.

There are still a few pieces missing from the Sharks’ puzzle for them to be seen as a force to be reckoned with, but with Smith, Celebrini, Quentin Musty, Filip Bystedt and Shakir Mukhamadullin, there’s a nice base of quality prospects.

Colby Cohen, a former player turned media personality, thinks big for this future hellish duo.

The man who mainly covers the NCAA sees these two players winning a few Stanley Cups together in San Jose.

He adds that by adding the missing pieces when the time comes, the Sharks will be in a very good position to win top honors five or six years from now.

“I expect these two guys to lift Stanley Cups together. Mike Grier needs to make the right moves and surround them with the right guys, because they’re special players.” – Colby Cohen

In the NBC Sportspiece, you can see the full interview between Sheng Peng and Colby Cohen, and it’s well worth a read.

Among other things, they talk about the option of returning to the college level in Will Smith’s case, but Cohen seems to be leaning towards the fact that he would learn more in the NHL than in the NCAA.

He does say, however, that he doesn’t think it would be a bad idea, because when the big games came around, he didn’t dominate as much as he did against weaker teams.

He’s still a useful player, and Cohen insists that Smith’s vision and intelligence are already superior to half the players in the NHL.

He’s so smart that he’d quickly learn to play a more defensive role, since he won’t be getting the puck as often as he did at the college level.

According to Cohen, he doesn’t want to see Smith play in the AHL, because Smith needs to be surrounded by players with a minimum of hockey IQ if he is to play his game.

He wouldn’t have left college to play in the AHL.

What’s interesting about this future duo is that the Sharks will be lucky enough to have a dynamic duo, as Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau were for many years.

Comparisons are frequently made between Smith and Celebrini, and Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, or even Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Personally, I like the Toews-Kane comparison, and that’s Cohen’s choice too.

Celebrini is an extremely well-rounded player, responsible everywhere and full of talent. A bit like Toews, but with a more interesting offensive side than the latter.

And Celebrini’s style of play also bears a striking resemblance to that of Sidney Crosby.

Mind you, I’m not saying that Celebrini will become as good a player as Crosby, as the step is far too high for the moment.

With a player like Smith by his side, an extremely intelligent player with incredible hockey sense, it’s a lot like a Toews-Kane duo, with a few differences of course.

Kane remains a player with inhuman hands, but has always been a defensive liability, which Smith is not.

Cohen found that he played well defensively this year with Boston University, even if he’s no Patrice Bergeron.

The future is bright in San Jose.

Can Celebrini and Smith give the Sharks franchise its first Stanley Cup?


– Miguël Tourigny, Cedrick Guindon and Petteri Nurmi will be free as a bird this summer.

– Interesting.

– That’s quite a resume.

– Discussions between the two clans are ongoing.

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