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Devils keeping 2012 first-round pick

by Dan Rosen

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello confirmed Wednesday that the team will keep its first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, which is June 22 in Pittsburgh. The Devils are slotted at No. 29.

"We will pick," Lamoriello said.

New Jersey had until Tuesday to inform the League if this would be the year in which the club surrenders its first-round pick as penalty for the salary-cap circumvention in signing Ilya Kovalchuk as a free agent two summers ago. Under the terms of the League-imposed punishment, the Devils had four years to relinquish their first-round pick.

After winning the draft lottery last year and moving up to the fourth spot in the 2011 draft, they kept the pick and selected Adam Larsson. Lamoriello's confirmation that they are keeping the pick this year means the Devils will have to forfeit their first-round pick in either 2013 or 2014.

Lamoriello said the Devils had made the decision to keep the pick "a while ago."

"We made the decision that we were going to keep it, but used the time on our side to make sure we were going to keep it," he said. "So when I said we didn't know, we just hadn't confirmed it, but we had made this decision."

He said they would have kept the pick even if they had won the Stanley Cup.

The Devils also were fined $3 million and forced to surrender a 2011 third-round pick as part of the Kovalchuk cap-circumvention punishment.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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