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Celine Dion announces her choice for the Montreal Canadiens at the 2024 NHL Draft

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 Céline Dion to the stage – Montreal General Manager Kent Hughes described her as “our biggest fan” – to announce the fifth draft pick of the evening.

Dion was accompanied on stage at the Sphere in Las Vegas by her 23-year-old son René-Charles Dion Angélil, who is also a singer and goes by the name RC Angélil. After a bilingual greeting in French and English, Dion got straight to the point. “The Montreal Canadiens are proud to have selected Ivan Demidov as the fifth player in the 2024 NHL Draft.”

Thanks to Dion’s tense pause before announcing the 18-year-old Russian hockey player’s name, NHL commentators called it “the most dramatic draft announcement ever.” (The commentators also said that “Montreal says ‘merci’ to the Anaheim Ducks for not selecting him” after the California club expressed interest in selecting Demidov as a third player.)

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

The reporters suggested that he might be too young to know Dion’s music, but the Russian teenager assured them: “No, I know. I have the Titanic.“ Dion, of course, played “My Heart Will Go On,” the title song of the 1997 James Cameron epic Titanicwhich spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Born about 15 miles outside of Montreal in Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion has been a vocal Canadiens fan for years. She has also called Las Vegas home for two decades, where she completed two residencies at Caesars Palace over a 16-year period.

The appearance at the NHL Draft comes just days after Prime Video released the new documentary I am: Celine Dionwhich documents Dion’s health struggle with Stiff Person Syndrome, a rare neurological autoimmune disease.

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

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