As of August 1st, 2022 the NCAA recruitment window for the 2006 and late 2005 birth year opened up and programs have been duking it out looking to attract top talent to their schools. As we near closer and closer to the new season, coaches and scouts are looking further into the future in a bid to ensure the long term success of their programs.
Many of these kids just endured a long season and are now playing in showcases to kick off the new one, but NCAA schools are knocking and they are knocking loudly. The newest crop of NCAA Ice Hockey players is beginning to take shape and it’s time to take a deeper dive on some of the names that have been circulating around and learning about what has made them such coveted pieces of the puzzle to some of these programs.
Macklin Celebrini – F – Chicago Steel
There is no better place to start then at the very top — Macklin Celebrini is viewed as not only one of the top players in North America for his age group but as one the top selections in the 2024 NHL Draft. Celebrini followed his brother Aiden this week in committing to the Boston University Terriers for the 2024-2025 season.
The North Vancouver native brings everything you want out of a player to the ice, he excels in the faceoff circle, has great vision and playmaking skills, a lethal shot, and a work ethic to make everything tick. He has tallied 258 points in 102 games over the last two seasons with Shattuck-St. Mary’s playing at the 14U level and then 18U Prep level this year.
Celebrini’s elite skill offensively is undeniable, and certainly enviable, but it’s his ability to perform his defensive duties that really rounds out his game. He is often the first forward to track back and does so with purpose. His ability to anticipate play and proactively get involved makes him such an asset to have on the ice and he is capable of quickly wheeling away or stretching the ice with a tape to tape pass. Celebrini is an incredibly talented player who works as hard as anyone else on the ice; the Terriers are getting a real gem in him.
Sacha Boisvert – F – Muskegon Lumberjacks
Another high end Canadian talent electing to take the NCAA route over the CHL is Sacha Boisvert. The 12th overall selection in the QMJHL draft signed a tender agreement with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and has now committed to the University of North Dakota. Boisvert tallied 51 goals in 56 games this past season, demonstrating incredible finishing ability from all over the ice and an ability to play with some extremely talented linemates.
His ability on the puck to create space with creative dekes is one of his biggest strengths and he puts himself in positions to get by players and use his speed and size to ensure it. He is a confident puck carrier with a long reach and above average speed and agility that have allowed him to find success leading rushes up the ice. When possession in the offensive zone has been established he is able to slip away from defenses and find soft spots