Macklin Celebrini wins Hobey Baker award, Kyle McClellan wins Richter

ST. PAUL, Minnesota – The day between the NCAA tournament semifinals and the national title game is reserved for honouring various national award-winners in NCAA hockey.

That includes the Mike Richter Award for the most outstanding goaltender in the country, the Hockey Humanitarian Award, and perhaps most importantly the Hobey Baker Award for the most outstanding player.

The Hobey went to Macklin Celebrini, while Wisconsin's Kyle McClellan won the Richter.

In addition, the Derek Hines Unsung Hero award, given to the player who “displays exemplary sportsmanship, is supremely competitive, intelligent and extraordinarily conditioned with an unmatched work ethic," went to Air Force's Luke Robinson.

The Hockey Humanitarian award was awarded to Dylan Lugris of Penn State, for his work to grow and promote a local sled hockey program, the State College Coyotes.

The first and second East and West All-America teams were also revealed, but more on those in a moment.

Celebrini wins Hobey Baker, Tim Taylor awards

Macklin won the Hobey Baker Award as the nation's most outstanding player.

He beat out Boston College's Cutter Gauthier, whose near-historic sniper rampage across college hockey this season had him close in the running for months, and Jackson Blake, who had a phenomenal season as the playmaking engine of the No. 8 offence in the country.

But Celebrini drove his BU team to No. 2 in the country, often by sheer force of will and immense talent. He was second in the nation in goals (32) and third in both points (64) and points per game (1.68). The guys in front of him for those stats were all on BC, and surely that fact — plus a bit of vote-splitting that resulted — helped Celebrini beat out Gauthier.

"It's a surreal feeling," Celebrini said. "I mean, being such a prestigious award, it means a lot, and it's kind of just a whirlwind right now. The last year has been amazing. All the people [at BU], everyone has been awesome and supportive of our team, and each of us individually. It's been a special place."

In winning, Celebrini becomes only the fourth freshman – and the second in a row – to win the Hobey. The previous three were Adam Fantilli (2023), Jack Eichel (2015), and Paul Kariya (1993). All four were in their draft years, but Celebrini was the youngest player to ever win the award, as he won't turn 18 until June.

Celebrini is also one of the few recent winners who actually played head-to-head against both of the other two players in the Hobey Hat Trick.

"Those are two special players who could have easily won this award," Celebrini said. "Playing against each of them, Jackson, I think, if you ever watch him, you just know he's special, just the way he moves and the way he handles the puck. And I don't think anyone shoots like Cutter. I feel like both those guys were so special in different ways, and it was great to battle against them this season."

Celebrini also spoke frequently about how much he enjoyed being around his teammates, who include his older brother Aiden. His coach, Jay Pandolfo, says that's not just standard hockey talk.

"How humble he is, his character off the ice, it's kind of what we want to be about in our program," Pandolfo told EP Rinkside. "For someone that is that talented and gifted as a player, for how humble he is, how he acts off the ice, it's very impressive. He's very mature and really cares about his teammates."

For a more in-depth look at the Hobey Hat Trick, click here.

The other top-10 finalists for the Hobey were Denver's Jack Devine, Quinnipiac's Collin Graf, BU's Lane Hutson, Wisconsin's Kyle McClellan, Holy Cross's Liam McLinskey, Minnesota State's Sam Morton, and BC's Will Smith.

Celebrini wins Tim Taylor award

Celebrini also won the Tim Taylor award as the nation's most outstanding rookie of the 2023-24 season. As much as this was a very strong rookie class, Celebrini stood head and shoulders above his competition.

Now, you might say, "Hold on, what about the three freshmen at BC?" Great question. Unfortunately for them, the finalists for the awards are the six conferences' Rookie of the Year award winners. Celebrini won Hockey East's Rookie and Player of the Year awards, so he was the only guy from that league who was even eligible.

As such, the final nominees were Celebrini, Army's Matteo Giampa (Atlantic Hockey), Michigan State's Artyom Levshunov (Big Ten), Michigan Tech's Isaac Gordon (CCHA), Dartmouth's CJ Foley (ECAC), and Denver's Zeev Buium (NCHC).

Kyle McClellan wins Mike Richter award

The award for the best goaltender in the nation went to Kyle McClellan of Wisconsin.

McClellan posted a .931 save percentage this season, tied for first in the country, across 37 games. He also led the nation in shutouts with seven, two ahead of any other goalie. Largely because of his improved play, the Badgers' record jumped from 12-23-0 to 26-12-2.

In accepting the award, McClellan noted that he is proud to be the first Wisconsin goalie to win the award, whose namesake played for the Badgers from 1985-87.

To win the award, McClellan beat out Boston College's Jacob Fowler and Colorado College's Kaidan Mbereko

For a more in-depth look at this year’s Mike Richter finalists, click here.

East and West All-America teams revealed

Finally, these are the All-American first and second teams for both halves of the country.

Please note that there was a tie for the second East team, so there are four forwards instead of three. I didn't make a mistake, at all:

East first team

F: Will Smith, Boston College

F: Cutter Gauthier, Boston College

F: Macklin Celebrini, Boston University

D: Ryan Ufko, UMass

D: Lane Hutson, Boston University

G: Jacob Fowler, Boston College

East second team

F: Gabe Perreault, Boston College

F: Liam McLinskey, Holy Cross

F: Ryan Leonard, Boston College

F: Collin Graf, Quinnipiac

D: John Prokop, Union

D: Gianfranco Cassaro, RIT

G: Ian Shane, Cornell

West first team

F: Jack Devine, Denver

F: Gavin Brindley, Michian

F: Jackson Blake, North Dakota

D: Seamus Casey, Michigan

D: Zeev Buium, Denver

G: Kaidan Mbereko, Colorado College

West second team

F: Massimo Rizzo, Denver

F: Rutger McGroarty, Michigan

F: Noah Laba, Colorado College

D: Artyom Levshunov, Michigan State

D: Dylan Anhorn, St. Cloud

G: Kyle McClellan, Wisconsin

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NCAA Boston Univ. Univ. of Wisconsin NCAA Macklin Celebrini Kyle McClellan Jay Pandolfo
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