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Celebrini talks about playing against Will Smith and the benefits of returning to college

BUFFALO – Macklin Celebrini is the star of the 2024 Draft Combine.

As a clear candidate for the number 1 pick in the 2024 draft, he had the podium to himself during today's media presence. In contrast, other top candidates Artyom Levshunov and Zeev Buium shared the podium, as did Cayden Lindstrom and Zayne Parekh.

However, the first selection of the future San Jose Sharks remained modest.

“It's been talked about a lot and it's definitely a possibility,” Celebrini said of being selected by the Sharks. “But at the end of the day, you never know what's going to happen.”

But we do, but you have to give Celebrini credit for managing to keep a straight face. He's clearly media savvy!

Celebrini talked about the advice he got from last year's first-round pick Connor Bedard and his older brother and Boston University teammate Aiden Celebrini, why returning to college could further develop his game, the challenges of playing against his future San Jose Sharks teammate Will Smith, the best advice he ever received, and more.

Celebrini on Connor Bedard:

He is a friend, we grew up together a bit [in Vancouver]. He reached out to me at the beginning of the year and said if I needed anything or needed help to let him know. He's there for me if I have questions, but I haven't used him very often.

Celebrini about Aiden Celebrini:

He is my best friend, I live with him every day, argue with him, joke with him. Throughout the year, but also during my childhood, he was always there for me when I needed something.

Celebrini on how returning to college could help his game:

It would just give me a little bit more time to develop. There's nothing wrong with just taking your time and improving a little bit more, getting stronger, bigger and faster. In that respect, another year would do me good, just to be more physically prepared. I would make sure I'm very fit and strong when I try to make that jump.

Celebrini on the best advice he ever received:

Probably stay in the present. I've been told that time flies and that before you know it, you're here and then five years have passed wherever you are. But that's something I've definitely had to learn: just stay in the present and try to enjoy it.

Celebrini on the game against Will Smith, his future teammate at the San Jose Sharks:

It wasn't very funny. He's a special player. I've played against him for the last three or four years, so I've seen a lot of him. Super tricky, super smooth. Every time we played against him, he would beat us.