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SECAUCUS, N.J. — Macklin Celebrini watched NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly slowly flip the placard to reveal that the San Jose Sharks had secured the first overall pick in the 2024 NHL draft lottery Tuesday night.

“My heart was beating. You can’t really prepare for it. It’s so unique, so special,” said Celebrini, the Boston University star who is expected to be the first overall pick in the NHL draft, set for The Sphere in Las Vegas in June. “It was excitement and, really, a little anxious.”

The Sharks finished last in the overall standings (19-54-9) and retained their position in the lottery. San Jose had an 18.5% chance to win the lottery and a 25.5% chance to pick first.

The lottery proved anticlimactic with no changes to the draft order this season. The Chicago Blackhawks, who selected center Connor Bedard with the No. 1 pick last year, retained the No. 2 selection, followed by the Anaheim Ducks at No. 3.

Sharks general manager Mike Grier indicated that his team would select Celebrini with the first overall pick.

“I would think so,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy year, but this was a real nice prize for us.”

Celebrini, a Vancouver native, has ties to the Bay Area. He is the son of Rick Celebrini, the Golden State Warriors director of sports medicine and performance. Macklin lived in the San Jose area and played for the San Jose Junior Sharks 14U AAA team.

Celebrini, 17, was a freshman at Boston University last season. He won the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top men’s hockey player and could become the first player to win that award and then go first overall in the NHL draft. He said he’ll make the decision to either return to BU or play in the NHL next season after the draft.

Grier said the Sharks will speak with Celebrini and his family to see what his intentions are but that the center has “the ability to play” in the NHL immediately.

Celebrini said he spoke with Bedard and other top prospects who were drafted to rebuilding teams like the Sharks. “It’s a unique situation just going into that,” he said. “But it’s kind of cool building something special there.”

The NHL draft was held at the NHL Network studios. There were 19 people in a small, windowless room, including three media observers. A video screen displayed each team’s odds for the first overall pick. In front of the screen was a lottery machine attached to a hand-held control operated by Will Markham, a machine technician.

Balls numbering one through 14 were loaded into the machine one by one. Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the room with a lengthy explanation of the draft lottery rules and explained the drawing process: A four-number combination that was randomly assigned to one of the 14 teams in the lottery would be drawn. In total, there were 1,001 possible combinations. The teams were allotted a number of combinations based on their lottery odds.

With an NHL camera rolling, Bettman held up his phone to show the lottery started at 5:38 p.m. ET. He held up that day’s copies of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times front pages to certify the date.

There were two lottery draws, one for the first overall pick and one for the second selection. The balls were drawn every 20 seconds, with an NHL employee shouting “draw!” at the end of each interval.

The first number combination was 10-2-7-11, in order, drawn at 5:50 p.m.

Scott Clarke of Ernst and Young confirmed that the Sharks owned that combination.

The drawing for the second overall pick was 2-8-4-11. The winner was the Sharks, meaning it had to be redrawn. The redraw was 14-11-3-9. Again, the winner was the Sharks.

“We’ve never had a redraw before and now we have two,” said Bettman, glancing at Markham. “I hope your finger isn’t getting tired.”

The fourth drawing was 6-11-3-14. Clarke confirmed that combination belonged to the Blackhawks, meaning the two teams with the best lottery odds ended up with the top two picks.

As Bettman left the room, NHL employees began securing team logos to placards with the NHL shield on them. They were transported to the TV studio to be revealed live on the air by Daly.

Celebrini took part in the live TV broadcast of the draft and was on camera when Daly revealed the Sharks had won it. The NHL prospect said he received advice about how to react to the revelation of the first overall pick.

“Just a little heads up from everyone, just how to react,” Celebrini said. “Obviously, it’s live.”

Part of that advice was a cautionary tale: That time in 2015 when presumed first overall pick Connor McDavid became an instant meme for his stunned reaction to the Edmonton Oilers winning the lottery.

“Yeah, that’s what everyone brought up to me,” Celebrini said. “He had a unique experience.”

The order of selection for the first 16 picks of the first round:

1. San Jose Sharks

2. Chicago Blackhawks

3. Anaheim Ducks

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

5. Montreal Canadiens

6. Utah

7. Ottawa Senators

8. Seattle Kraken

9. Calgary Flames

10. New Jersey Devils

11. Buffalo Sabres

12. Philadelphia Flyers

13. Minnesota Wild

14. San Jose Sharks (from Pittsburgh)

15. Detroit Red Wings

16. St. Louis Blues

The NHL draft will be held at The Sphere in Las Vegas on June 28-29. It marks the first time the draft will be held in Las Vegas and the first event televised live from The Sphere.

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Reds extend Dodgers’ skid to 5; Ohtani at ‘90%’




Reds extend Dodgers' skid to 5; Ohtani at '90%'

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of their longest losing streak since 2019, but first baseman Freddie Freeman has no doubt that there’s no concern.

“It’s May, it’s baseball,” Freeman said. “Two weeks ago, we were winning every game. I don’t think anybody needs to question in our lineup. We’ll be fine.”

The Cincinnati Reds finished off a sweep of the Dodgers with a 4-1 victory Sunday, extending LA’s slide to five games — it’s longest since dropping six in a row April 8-13, 2019.

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani went 3-for-12 in the series while dealing with a bruised right hamstring. He batted second Sunday and went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter, reaching on an infield single while scoring the Dodgers’ only run.

“It’s right around 90%,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Ohtani’s hamstring. “Assuming it will keep getting better, I feel confident that he can play smart and not push it. Talked to him about not trying to steal a base. Be smart. The value of having him in the lineup is everything.”

Los Angeles’ lineup has been hampered by inconsistency. The Dodgers scored six times in the series opener, and then scored two more over the next two games.They have been shut out twice this month while scoring two or fewer runs six times.

“When you’re not hitting, it certainly seems lifeless,” Roberts said. “Seems like we’re running cold. I know it’s not from care or preparation. Bottom line, it’s about results and we’re not getting them right now. They outplayed us this series and won three.”

Roberts hinted at a couple of changes to the lineup when the Dodgers begin a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field.

“Some guys might be pressing a little bit,” Roberts said. “Every time I write the lineup, I feel good that we’re going to put up some runs. It’s not a big picture-type thing. It’s certainly been two weeks where it hasn’t been good.”

Jonathan India and Nick Martini each drove in two runs for the Reds, and Brent Suter, Nick Martinez, Carson Spiers and Alexis Diaz combined for a five-hitter.

Martinez (2-3) pitched 4⅓ innings of one-hit ball on a bullpen day for Cincinnati, and Díaz got two outs for his 10th save.

“It starts with our pitchers,” Reds manager David Bell said. “They’re ready to take the ball. Starting with Brent Suter, who did his job. That’s where it starts. Nick Martinez took over. Nick continues to show when he executes his pitches how good he is. To pitch so well against this team really says a lot.”

Freeman hit an RBI double in the ninth, stopping a 0-for-22 slide for the Dodgers with runners in scoring position. Freeman then advanced on defensive indifference, but Díaz struck out Teoscar Hernandez and Andy Pages swinging.

The start of the game was moved up from 1:40 p.m. EDT to 12:10 p.m. due to the threat of severe storms that arrived in the sixth inning. The teams then waited through a delay for just over an hour.

Cincinnati scored four times in the third off Yoshinobu Yamamoto (5-2). India had a bases-loaded single, and Martini’s bloop hit scored two more.

Yamamoto allowed six hits, struck out eight and walked two in five innings.

“They found a way to fight with two outs and find some outfield grass,” Roberts said. “They stayed inside the baseball. When you fight, you get those breaks sometimes. Outside of that, I thought Yoshi was fantastic. He was one hitter away from going five scoreless.”


Dodgers: Right-hander Gavin Stone (4-2, 3.60 ERA) will oppose Mets right-hander Tylor Megill (0-2, 3.00 ERA) on Monday in the opener of a three-game series.

Reds: Left-hander Nick Lodolo (3-2, 3.34 ERA) will come off the injured list to start the series opener against the Cardinals on Monday. Lance Lynn (2-2, 3.68 ERA) starts for St. Louis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Tigers blow 5-run lead, rally with 3-run HR in 9th




Tigers blow 5-run lead, rally with 3-run HR in 9th

DETROIT — Matt Vierling homered twice, including a tiebreaking, three-run drive off Jordan Romano in the ninth inning that gave Detroit a wild 14-11 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday after the Tigers wasted a five-run lead and recovered from a two-run deficit.

Vierling had four hits and tied career highs with two homers and four RBIs.

“My brother and I in the back yard, we’d always be doing situations like that,” Vierling said. “It’s kind of cool when it actually happens.”

Carson Kelly hit a three-run homer and Spencer Torkelson hit a solo shot for Detroit, which led 5-0 after three innings, 8-3 after five and 9-5 after six. The Tigers set a season high for runs and tied their high with 17 hits.

Torkelson had three hits and scored three runs.

“He’s really easy to root for,” Torkelson said of Vierling. “To see him come through, we had all the faith in the world and confidence he’d get the job done there. That’s exactly what he did.”

Toronto’s Isiah Kiner-Falefa homered in the seventh off Tyler Holton, and the Blue Jays took an 11-9 lead with a five-run eighth when Bo Bichette hit a two-run single off Jason Foley and Daulton Varsho hit a three-run homer.

Toronto manager John Schneider drew some consolation by the way his team kept fighting back.

“It’s easy to kind of quit after that and the guys did the exact opposite,” he said. “Chipped away and came back with huge hits from Bo and Varsh.”

Mark Canha tied the score with a two-run single against Yimi Garcia in the bottom half, his third hit.

Vierling, who hit a solo homer in the fifth off Zach Pop, drove a full-count slider from Romano (1-2) over the left-field wall for his first big league walk-off hit. A two-time All-Star, Romano has allowed three homers this year, half his total last season.

“I was ready for that pitch that he threw me 3-2,” Vierling said. “I was kind of looking for it 2-2, as well, but it was low and I was able to check my swing enough. The next pitch was the same pitch, just a little more up.”

Mason Englert (1-0) pitched a hitless ninth for the Tigers (26-27), who won the last three games of a four-game series against the last-place Blue Jays (23-29).

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had his second four-hit game of the season for the Blue Jays.

Detroit starter Casey Mize gave up three runs and eight hits in 4⅓ innings. Toronto’s Yusei Kikuchi allowed five runs and eight hits in three innings. Mize and Kikuchi are 0-3 each in their six starts.

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Braves’ Acuna leaves game with knee soreness




Braves' Acuna leaves game with knee soreness

PITTSBURGH — Ronald Acuna Jr. left the Atlanta Braves8-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning Sunday with left knee soreness after his knee appeared to buckle.

The reigning National League MVP led off the game with a double to right-center field off Martin Perez. With Marcell Ozuna at the plate, Acuna started toward third on a stolen base attempt and his left knee appeared to buckle. He remained down for several minutes while being treated, pointing at his left leg before walking off under his own power.

Acuna, a 26-year-old outfielder, is batting .250 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 49 games. The four-time All-Star hit a career-best .337 last season with 41 homers and 106 RBIs.

Adam Duvall shifted from left to right in the bottom half, and Jarred Kelenic entered the game in place of Acuna and played left.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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