Celine Dion Admits She's No 'Hockey Mom' In Surprise NHL Draft Appearance Amid Health Battle

Celine Dion made a surprise appearance to announce who the Montreal Canadiens selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2024 NHL draft on Friday.

The five-time Grammy winner — who has been battling stiff-person syndrome, or SPS, a rare neurological condition — dropped by the Sphere in Las Vegas to reveal that Russian-born player Ivan Demidov was on his way to the hockey team from her native Canadian province of Quebec.

“Good evening, everyone,” Dion said as the Vegas crowd greeted her with cheers. “I’m excited, not even a hockey mom.”

She continued by revealing the Canadiens’ selection, with dramatic pauses sprinkled among her remarks.

“The most dramatic draft announcement of all time,” said ESPN’s John Buccigross during the broadcast.

After being selected, Demidov spoke with reporters about Dion calling his name, saying, “It’s like a movie.”

He also noted that he was aware of Dion’s music and had watched “Titanic.”

The surprise appearance by Dion, who recently spoke at the New York premiere of the new Prime Video documentary “I Am: Celine Dion,” comes over a year and a half since she revealed her SPS diagnosis in December 2022.

Dion, who has largely remained out of the public eye since the diagnosis, pledged earlier this month that she’d make a return to stage even if she has to “crawl” and “talk with” her hands.

In an Instagram post on Saturday, Dion wrote in French that she had a lot of fun at the draft and shared photos from the evening, including a snap with her family.

The music icon is a notable hockey fan; she brought her twin sons, Nelson and Eddy, to a Boston Bruins-New York Rangers game where she played an air guitar from the crowd to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” in March.

She also spoke to the Bruins in the locker room prior to the game and jokingly thanked shirtless defenseman Brandon Carlo for “getting ready” for her.

Dion made a number of other appearances at NHL games this past season too, including a visit to the Canadiens’ locker room prior to their game against the Vegas Golden Knights in October.