Monday, July 22, 2024

Celine Dion at 2024 NHL Draft, Announces Montreal Canadiens Pick

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Being selected in the first round of the NHL Draft is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Being announced by one of the most talented singers of all time is one in a million.

At the 2024 NHL Draft on Friday night (June 28), the Canadiens welcomed Celine Dion to the stage — described by Montreal general manager Kent Hughes as “our No. 1 fan” — to announce the night’s fifth overall draft pick.

Dion was accompanied to the stage inside Las Vegas’ Sphere by her 23-year-old son René-Charles Dion Angélil, who is also a singer and goes by RC Angélil. After a bilingual greeting toggling between French and English, Dion got down to business. “With the fifth overall selection in the 2024 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens are proud to select Ivan Demidov.”

Thanks to Dion’s tense pause ahead of saying the 18-year-old Russian hockey player’s name, the NHL announcers called it “the most dramatic draft announcement of all time.” (The announcers also suggested that “Montreal is saying ‘merci’ to the Anaheim Ducks for not picking him,” after the California club had shown interest in choosing Demidov third overall.)

In his post-draft press conference. reporters asked Demidov what it was like to have Dion announce his name. “It’s unbelievable. It’s like a book. Like a movie. It’s… me,” he laughed.

The reporters suggested he might be too young to know Dion’s music, but the Russian teen assured them, “No, I know. I watched the Titanic.” Dion, of course, performed “My Heart Will Go On,” the theme song from the 1997 James Cameron epic Titanic, which spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.

Dion was born about 15 miles outside Montreal in Charlemagne, Quebec, and has been a vocal fan of the Canadiens for years. She has also called Las Vegas home for the past two decades, mounting a pair of residencies at Caesars Palace spanning 16 years.

The NHL Draft appearance comes just a few days after Prime Video released the new documentary I Am: Celine Dion, which chronicles Dion’s health battle with Stiff Person Syndrome, a rare autoimmune neurological disorder.

Watch Dion’s NHL Draft announcement and Demidov’s post-draft press conference below.

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