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San Jose Sharks select Boston University center Macklin Celebrini with No. 1 pick in NHL draft

2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 28: Macklin Celebrini is selected by the the San Jose Sharks with the first overall pick during the first round of the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Sphere on June 28, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The San Jose Sharks added a foundational piece to their rebuilding plan by choosing Boston University center Macklin Celebrini with the first pick in the NHL draft Friday.

Celebrini’s selection came as no surprise after the 18-year-old became just the fourth freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player. He did so as the nation’s youngest player, too, finishing second with 34 goals and third with 64 points in 38 games.

The 6-foot, 200-pound player from North Vancouver, British Columbia, already has ties to the Bay Area. Celebrini played for the Junior Sharks program after his father, Rick, was hired to be the Golden State Warriors’ sports medicine director.

Celebrini was undecided on whether he will return to BU for a second year, but he deepens a talented prospect pool on a Sharks team in the midst of its longest playoff drought, now spanning five years.

The Chicago Blackhawks were scheduled to pick second, followed by Anaheim, Columbus and Montreal. The Utah Hockey Club was set to pick sixth after the franchise relocated from Arizona to Salt Lake City in April.