San Jose Sharks Win NHL Draft Lottery NY Islanders to Pick 18th

2024 Frozen Four
2024 Frozen Four / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

The San Jose Sharks have won the Macklin Celebrini sweepstakes, as they will make the first pick of the NHL Draft on June 28th at the Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NY Islanders, who were not involved in the lottery, will pick 18th.

This is the first time the Sharks will pick first overall, with the likely pick to be Celebrini, the first Hobey Baker Award winner to go first overall. Just 17 years old, Celebrini finished his freshman season at Boston University as the nation's third-leading scorer.

The Islanders have picked first overall four times in their 52-year history, selecting Billy Harris (1972), Denis Potvin (1973), Rick DiPietro (2000), and John Tavares (2009).

If Lou Lamoriello and company decide to keep the pick, they'll select 18th - but that remains a big 'If.' The Isles haven't made a first-round pick since 2019 when they selected Simon Holmstrom 23rd overall. Three of the four picks since were used in mid-season trades to acquire JG Pageau, Kyle Palmieri, and Bo Horvat. In 2022, the Islanders entered night one of the draft with their pick in hand but moved it to acquire Alexander Romanov from the Montreal Canadiens.

After the Islanders stood pat at this year's trade deadline, Lamoriello said that the team's first-round pick was in play, but nothing worthy of moving that pick ever came to fruition.

If the Islanders take the podium at pick No. 18, there should be little debate that they take the best player available regardless of position. The organization's prospect pool is depleted, needing a youthful injection.

This year's draft is defense-heavy, but there are still several high-end forwards for the taking. If the Isles hope to take the next step to chase a Stanley Cup, there's a good chance their first-round pick gets moved as they don't have many other assets to acquire an established player.