Apr 29, 2013, 2:32 PM EST
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.
- Ryan Murray has knee surgery, likely done for season 0
- Washington finally signs top prospect Kuznetsov 26
- Roberto Luongo records the shutout in first game back with Panthers 27
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack 63
- Canucks’ Kassian gets three games for boarding Dillon 27
- TGIF: Why Lightning fans can be upset with St. Louis 32
- Goalie nods: Luongo’s first game back with Panthers, Neuvirth makes Sabres debut 14
- Report: Kuznetsov terminated KHL deal, headed to Washington 21
- Canucks’ Bieksa: ‘If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is’ 34
- Luongo has Twitter fun at Canucks’ expense 37
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Sabres announce Pat LaFontaine resigns as president of hockey operations (66)