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May 28, 2024
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Sharks win No. 1 pick in 2024 NHL Draft, chance to take Celebrini

Sharks win No. 1 pick in 2024 NHL Draft, chance to take Celebrini

The ping-pong balls fell in the Sharks’ favor in the 2024 NHL Draft lottery Tuesday night, awarding the No. 1 overall pick to San Jose for the first time in franchise history.

The Sharks, who have another first-round pick at No. 14 from the Erik Karlsson trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins, are expected to draft Macklin Celebrini, the draft’s top-rated prospect. The 17-year-old center is a special talent, as he registered 32 goals and 32 assists in just 37 games at Boston University this season.

Even better for San Jose: Celebrini has local ties, as he played for the Jr. Sharks during the 2019-20 season, scoring 49 goals and racking up 45 assists in just 54 games for the 14-and-under squad. Also, his father, Rick, is the Golden State Warriors’ director of sports medicine and performance, and the Celebrini family is based in Livermore, just 34 miles north of the Sharks’ SAP Center home.

After the Sharks won the lottery, Celebrini shared his thoughts on the organization with ESPN’s John Buccigross

“I’ve lived there for a little bit growing up, obviously with my dad with the Warriors,” Celebrini told Buccigross. “… If I’m fortunate to get drafted there, I’d be very lucky.”

The Sharks, who finished last in the 2023-24 NHL standings (19-54-9), had a 18.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick.

The Chicago Blackhawks were awarded the No. 2 overall pick, with the Anaheim Ducks at No. 3 and Columbus Blue Jackets at No. 4. 

San Jose Sharks

Heading into the lottery, the Blackhawks trailed the Sharks with the second-best odds at 13.5 percent after finishing 31st in the overall NHL standings (23-53-6) last season. The Ducks, 30th in the standings, had the third-best odds at 11.5 percent.

The 2024 NHL Draft will be held on June 28-29 at Sphere in Las Vegas. San Jose currently is scheduled to have nine picks: two first-rounders and two second-rounders, then one in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the seventh round.

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