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North Vancouver's Macklin Celebrini taken first overall in NHL draft by San Jose

Sharks legend Joe Thornton welcomes Celebrini to the club, announcing the North Van hockey star as the top pick in the 2024 draft in Las Vegas
San Jose Sharks legend Joe Thornton welcomes North Vancouver’s Macklin Celebrini to the club after the Sharks made Celebrini the first overall pick in the 2024 NHL entry draft June 28 in Las Vegas. | @NHL / X

It’s official – North Vancouver's Macklin Celebrini is a member of the San Jose Sharks.

To the surprise of no one, the Sharks selected Celebrini No. 1 overall in the NHL draft Friday at the Las Vegas Sphere.

The six-foot centre just turned 18 on June 13, and is coming off a season with Boston University that saw him become the youngest player ever to win the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA Div. 1 hockey.

“Just a surreal feeling,” Celebrini said on-air after getting picked No. 1. “I’ve dreamt about this moment ever since I was a kid and for it to come true, it’s an amazing feeling.”

The pick was announced on stage by Joe Thornton, who starred in San Jose for 14 seasons.

“Jumbo Joe, he’s a legend in the game and a legend with the Sharks,” Celebrini told the NHL Network. “For him to announce it was pretty cool.”

The pick comes one year after fellow North Vancouver phenom Connor Bedard was picked first overall by Chicago. On Thursday Bedard was given the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie for the 2023-24 season.

The next big step for Celebrini will be deciding if he wants to play for San Jose next season or go back for his sophomore year at BU. That decision can wait, he said on draft day.

“I’m going to let this soak in, enjoy it with my friends and family and then talk to the Sharks organization, my coaches at BU and finally make a decision.”

Celebrini thanked his family for helping to get him to this point.

“I wouldn’t be here without them, my parents and my siblings,” he said. “They’ve been everything to me, and their support has never wavered. I couldn’t be more grateful.”