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SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Macklin Celebrini never attended a San Jose Sharks game when he lived in the Bay Area, but he soon could be a huge piece to the rebuild there after witnessing the team get the No. 1 pick by winning the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday.

"My heart was beating (so fast) and I was a little anxious," Celebrini said following the announcement at NHL Studios, where the lottery was held. "I mean, obviously, anything can happen, but if I get selected by San Jose, it'll be really exciting. I watched [Chicago Blackhawks players go through a rebuild] with Connor Bedard last year and I kind of talked to him a little bit. It's a unique situation but it's kind of cool, just being along for that rebuild and building something special there."

Celebrini, a center with Boston University in Hockey East, spent a year in San Jose when he was 13 after his father, Rick, was hired by the NBA's Golden State Warriors as their director of sports medicine and performance.

The Celebrinis didn't attend an NHL game at SAP Center in San Jose, but Rick sought the Warriors job on the recommendation of then-Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, who now plays for the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I called [Burns] when I was trying to decide whether to make the move (from Vancouver) and he sold me on the hockey development for the boys," Rick said. "We initially moved to San Jose, not far from ‘Burnsie,’ and I would commute the hour to work."

Macklin had 94 points (49 goals, 45 assists) in 54 games with the San Jose Junior Sharks Under-14 team in 2019-20, his only season with the program before joining the team at the Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Minnesota the next season.

It was the start of an incredible journey that has seen Celebrini improve at every level to this point of his hockey career to become the projected No. 1 pick in the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, to be held at Sphere in Las Vegas. The first round will be June 28, with Rounds 2-7 on June 29.

"[The lottery] was unique, an experience that I wasn't really ... I mean you can't really prepare for it because it's so unique and special,” Celebrini said. “I'm grateful that I was able to get this opportunity to come here and kind of experience this because it was definitely a very cool opportunity."

Celebrini was second among NCAA players with 32 goals and third with 64 points in 38 games as a freshman this season.

"BU brought a maturity to my game this season," Celebrini said. "I've learned a lot playing against older guys, playing with older guys, and having the coaches I had. This whole year was a learning process and I don't think there was a moment where I wasn't soaking up something."

Celebrini could become the second player from Boston University selected No. 1 in the NHL Draft, joining goalie Rick DiPietro, who was chosen by the New York Islanders in 2000. He also could be the fourth NCAA player chosen No. 1 and first since University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power (University of Michigan) was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in 2021.

The 17-year-old was the youngest player in NCAA Division I men's hockey this season and became the youngest to win the Hobey Baker Award, presented annually to the top NCAA men's hockey player. Celebrini was named Hockey East Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year, joining Jack Eichel (2015), Paul Kariya (1993) and Brian Leetch (1987) as the only players to win the awards in the same season. He also earned the Tim Taylor National Rookie of the Year Award.

The Sharks (19-54-9) finished last in the NHL and had the best odds of winning the No. 1 pick (18.5 percent), something they had never done. The Chicago Blackhawks, who selected Bedard at No. 1 in the 2023 NHL Draft, will have the No. 2 choice, and the Anaheim Ducks will pick No. 3.

San Jose general manager Mike Grier played three seasons at Boston University (1993-96) and was a teammate of current Terriers coach Jay Pandolfo.

Grier was asked if he has already made up his mind about selecting Celebrini with the No. 1 pick.

"I would think so," he said. "He plays 200 feet. He's 17 but he's got a really solid build on him already and I think he's got a professional attitude and mentality already. I've talked with Jay Pandolfo at BU, and he said sometimes they have to kick him off the ice.

"I just think it's how he plays the game; he works just as hard in the defensive zone as he does in the offensive zone. When you put it all together we think he's in a good spot (to be NHL-ready)."

Celebrini said he will next turn his focus to training for the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, to be held June 2-8, where he will take part in all the testing.

"I'll take care of offseason training,” he said. “Get started on that."

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