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Devils keeping 2013 first-round pick

by Mike G. Morreale / New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters Monday that the organization has decided to retain its first-round pick for the 2013 NHL Draft, which the Devils are hosting, on June 30.

In September 2010, the National Hockey League fined the Devils $3 million and took away two high draft picks over the next four years for signing Ilya Kovalchuk to a 17-year, $102 million contract two months earlier that circumvented the League's salary cap.

The Devils forfeited a 2011 third-round pick, and also were told they needed to forfeit a first-rounder at some point over the next four years following the penalty.

The team maintained its pick in 2011, the year it won the NHL Draft Lottery to move from No. 8 to No. 4 in the order, to select defenseman Adam Larsson. In 102 career games with New Jersey spanning two seasons, Larsson has two goals, 24 points and a minus-3 rating. The 6-foot-3 Swede showed much improvement down the stretch this season.

Last June, the organization decided to retain the No. 29 pick in the first round and selected forward Stefan Matteau.

Matteau played 17 games for the Devils this season, totaling one goal, three points and six penalty minutes before being returned to his junior team, the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, on March 17. By playing Matteau in more than five NHL games this season, the Devils burned one full season off his three-year, entry-level contract.

Since the Devils will be keeping their pick this year, the team will be without a 2014 first-round choice. The 2014 NHL Draft will be held at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

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