The San Jose Sharks’ big first-round win on Friday came via the NHL Draft lottery.

But they persevered, taking future franchise player Macklin Celebrini with the No. 1 overall pick. Not only was the Boston University Hobey Baker Award winner the most talented player in the draft, he also has ties to the Bay Area.

He and fellow college hockey player Will Smith give the last-place Sharks two players to build around. Celebrini, who just turned 18, said he doesn’t have a timeline for deciding whether to turn pro or return for another college season.

The Sharks also selected defenseman Sam Dickinson with the 11th overall pick. He has the potential to eventually develop into a top-pairing blue liner.

Here are the winners and losers from the first round of the NHL draft:

Beckett Sennecke reacts to being picked third overall by the Anaheim Ducks.Beckett Sennecke reacts to being picked third overall by the Anaheim Ducks.

Beckett Sennecke reacts to being picked third overall by the Anaheim Ducks.


Response from Beckett Sennecke

The Anaheim Ducks went a little off the board last year when they selected Leo Carlsson for Adam Fantilli. They went way off the mark on Friday by drafting Sennecke third overall. He was expected to be taken much later in the first round, and the prospect had a priceless reaction on his face when he heard his name.

Sennecke had a strong second half at Oshawa, increasing his draft prospects.

“As he gets stronger physically, he’s going to be a guy that can play every type of game on the ice,” Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek told reporters. “He can play a physical game, he can play a skill game, he can play a speed game. His overall game is what got us excited.”

The Montreal Canadiens’ Secret Weapon

The Canadiens likely knew they would be booed in Las Vegas for upsetting the Golden Knights in the 2021 playoffs. But they quelled the booing by calling Celine Dion to the podium to announce their pick. Montreal selected Ivan Demidov.

The Flyers also got a nice guest appearance from Michael Buffer, a boxing commentator from Philadelphia.


Until Friday, no Norwegian player had ever been selected in the first round. In 2024, there were two.

The Detroit Red Wings selected winger Michael Brandsegg-Nygard at No. 15 and the Ducks selected defenseman Stian Solberg at No. 23.

“A very good two-way player and a scoring winger who clearly fills a hole in our prospect pool,” Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman told the Detroit Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network, about Brandsegg-Nygard.


Calgary Flames

Wouldn’t it have been great if the Flames had drafted Tij Iginla at No. 9? His father, Jarome, established his Hall of Fame credentials in Calgary. But the Utah Hockey Club took the younger Iginla with the No. 6 pick.

No NHL players traded, only picks

Yes, the trade alert was very busy. And yes, there were no trades in the first round last season, so we should be thankful. But the trades were simply swaps of picks.

The first was the Wild moving up one spot in a deal with the Flyers to take Zeev Buium. Utah and Chicago both moved up to get another first-round pick, and Edmonton gave up a 2025 or 2026 first-round pick to draft 32nd overall.

Ryan Suter

The Dallas Stars defenseman was bought out for the second time in his career, only the second time that’s happened (Tony DeAngelo is the other). Suter will still get paid from his Minnesota Wild buyout, and will receive $1,433,333 for each of the next two seasons before this one. He will be an unrestricted free agent, but is 39.

The Flyers also bought out forward Cam Atkinson.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Winners and Losers of the 2024 NHL Draft: Highs and Lows of the First Round