Macklin Celebrini skating with team Canada at a practice ahead of the world junior championship
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Insider hints at top 5 picks returning to college to diss their team

Published May 8, 2024 at 5:29 PM

The San Jose Sharks will be drafting Macklin Celebrini first overall this summer after they won their first ever draft lottery yesterday. However, the Hobey Baker and Hockey East rookie of the year may not be making the jump to the NHL right away.

Bruins reporter Jimmy Murphy revealed today following the draft lottery that he has heard noise about both Celebrini and 2022 4th overall pick Will Smith returning to Boston University and Boston College, respectively. Obviously, Murphy has connections with the Boston hockey scene, giving him some credibility with regards to this rumor.

Not to rain on the #SJSharks parade but there's intense chatter out there that both Macklin Celebrini and Will Smith will return to school next season. I'd think it's much less of a chance with the former but it's still no lock that the Sharks have one or both in September.

Will Murphy himself seems to be somewhat apologetic about the news, fans themselves are not particularly concerned. After all, the Sharks will likely be among the worst teams in the league again next season, and they have few solid veterans to help guide the rookies and show them what it takes to play in the NHL.

If I'm the Sharks I encourage both to return to school. Neither have anything to prove at the college level anymore but I wouldn't want to waste their rookie seasons on a Sharks team that's gonna be horrible again. They can tank for another last place and both sign the year after

Furthermore, adding Celebrini and Smith would likely make the Sharks a significantly better team next season. Overall, the franchise may be better off keeping them away from the team for another chance at winning the draft lottery next season. Under the new draft rules, a team can improve their position twice in a given five-year period by winning the lottery. This means the Sharks can still win the lottery at least one more time in the next four seasons. However, since they did not technically improve their position this year, they may actually still be eligible to win the lottery two more times in that period. We will have to wait for a clarification from the NHL regarding that rule.

That's fine. We fans over here kinda expect to be bad for a few more seasons still (have 2 1st rounders in 25 too) let the kids cook for a bit longer still.

Should Macklin Celebrini head back to BU next year? A reminder that his buddy Cole Eiserman, who he ripped it up with at Shattuck back in the day, de-committed from the University of Minnesota and is heading to BU next season.

I know the money in the NHL is great but San Jose is nowhere near ready to be competitive and this duo would put up some crazy numbers. Owen Power did the same thing after he was drafted by the Sabres.

Regardless, the Sharks remain deep in the trenches of a rebuild. They have certainly just won a major battle by winning the draft lottery, but there is still a lot of work to be done to get the team back up to a playoff-caliber franchise.
May 8   |   120 answers
Insider hints at top 5 picks returning to college to diss their team

Do you think Macklin Celebrini and Will Smith will return to the NCAA next season?

Just Celebrini1714.2 %
Just Smith3025 %
Both3125.8 %
Neither4235 %
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