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Devils to keep ’13 first-rounder, forfeit ’14 pick

Apr 29, 2013, 2:32 PM EDT

Lou Lamoriello Getty Images

Hours prior to the first-ever NHL Draft Lottery — in which all participants have a shot at the No. 1 pick —  the Devils announced they’re keeping their first-rounder.

On Monday, New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello confirmed the organization will participate in the opening round of 2013 NHL Entry Draft which, of course, will be held in Newark, N.J. on June 30.

That decision means the Devils’ 2014 first-round selection will be forfeited, as per a salary cap circumvention penalty for signing Ilya Kovalchuk.

The penalty was announced in Sept. 2010 ($3 million, 2011 third-round pick, future first-rounder) with the understanding it was up to the Devils to decide which year — ’11, ’12, ’13 or ’14 — they’d give up the 1st.

The club opted to hold onto its 2011 first-rounder (selecting Adam Larsson) and, curiously, also decided to keep their 2012 first-rounder — the 29th overall pick, with which they took Stefan Matteau.

Why curious? Consider this take from Yahoo!’s Neate Sager:

The franchise, which was stripped of a first-rounder after the NHL ruled it circumvented the salary cap while signing Ilya Kovalchuk, was widely questioned for even using its first-rounder in 2012.

What was the point of hanging on to second-last pick of the first round in a weak draft year, then rushing him to the NHL to perform in spot duty, disrupting a crucial development season?

Taking Matteau also painted the Devils into a corner where they likely going to have to give up their first-rounder in the fecund 2014 draft.

Missing out on a possible shot at an elite youngster such as the Barrie Colts’ Aaron Ekblad, Kootenay Ice’s Sam Reinhart or Kingston Frontenacs’ Roland McKeown is a hefty price to pay to take a player who seems to be struggling with some maturity issues.

The draft lottery will be held tonight (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN), and the Devils hold a 2.7 percent chance of capturing the first overall selection.

Florida (25 percent), Colorado (18.8) and Tampa Bay (14.2) hold the highest odds.

  1. rushledger - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Yeah they should have gave up last years.

    • credible316 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      I couldn’t agrre more. They are only going to get worse. They’ll probably be giving up a very valuable pick next year.

      • 950003cups - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        Does it make sense to judge a career on someone based on hearsay? After Matteau was sent home, his entire team got in to a bench clearing brawl after the game ended. There is probably a bit more to the story.

        If he comes in and lights it up in 2 years, nobody will care. Patrick Kane had much worse issues. What about the other fool who dressed as a Teletuby driving drunk? Point is, THEY ARE KIDS.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      lol…no kidding, you get the 29th pick – second worst 1st round pick you can get and you kept it? and then you draft this matteau kid turns out to be a d-bag. thats what you get for being dumb.

      • themagicman1223 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        There was also huge character issues before he drafted him, it’s not like this happened over night.

  2. themagicman1223 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I know this is pretty much in hindsight but I said the same thing last year. I don’t expect the Devils to have another run at the Stanley Cup next year, Lou made a very bad decision.

  3. mclovinhockey - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    I guess everyone can agree, the devils popped the bed by not giving up the pick last year.

  4. 950003cups - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    One thing I know for sure is:

    Lou Lamoriello has made some very questionable moves over his 25 years here in NJ.

    Point is, he seems to know what he’s doing, even if we don’t have a clue what he’s doing. Which is almost every move he makes.

  5. jb8383 - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I think it’s a tad bit early to be making these assessments about Matteau. He’s still so young, and clearly Lou isn’t that stupid. He obviously knows what he is doing even if it may not appear obvious to the rest of us.

  6. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    I know Lamoriello is one of the best in the business but this could come back to bite them. Lets say Brodeur retires (although I don’t think he will) and both Clarkson and Elias leave… if that happens it’s probable that the Devils will have a high draft pick next season. So, eventhough Matteau may become a solid player, is he worth a potential high pick? Now that’s all hypothetical, and Lou knows way more than I do, but we might look back and see this as a major mistake.

  7. quizguy66 - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    So the people here apparently think Lou’s plan “A” for 2013-14 should have been to have the Devils be as terrible as possible. The man does not think or operate that way.


    • jb8383 - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      Thank you. Clearly Lou doesn’t think we’re gonna suck next year. Anyone who thinks that has losers mentality. He’s planning on winning because that’s what gms do.

      • lateralous - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        Well then he better get his butt moving on a deal for Elias instead of waiting until the last second and dropping the ball on yet another top free agent.

  8. hockeycoach1 - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    If they had to decide at this point last year, they didn’t have the 29th pick at that time. They earned that pick by advancing all the way to the finals. When the playoffs started they wouldve been picking somewhere around 18th. I dont remember where they finished overall, but i think they were a 6 seed in the east so I imagine that puts them around 12th overall. it still was not a real smart decision, but not as heinous of a mistake as everyone makes it out to be. The final four draft positions are given to the semi finalists, obviously Lou didn’t have that much faith in last years team

  9. greatminnesotasportsmind - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Talk about being narcissistic, you had the choice to give up the 29th overall pick, and you kept it? Apparently you thought you were going to win the Cup this year with a 40 year old goalie and losing one of your better players in Zach Parise. I think anyone with half a brain would surrender that pick. Keeping that pick should be grounds for dismissal.

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