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Hall waiting to talk contract not 'red flag' for Devils, GM says

'No formal meeting planned' for forward who can sign extension as soon as July 1

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

VANCOUVER -- Taylor Hall likely won't negotiate a contract with the New Jersey Devils until after the start of the NHL free agent signing period on July 1, general manager Ray Shero said Thursday.

"There is no formal meeting planned at this moment, but that's not a red flag ... that's just how we've been doing things, and Taylor is the same way," Shero said. "We will have more formal meetings later in the summer."

The 27-year-old left wing can sign an extension of up to eight years with the Devils beginning July 1. He could become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2020.

"Taylor's wish was to get through the NHL Draft and free agency, when we have more information," Shero said. "He's not an unrestricted free agent July 1 (2019), as we know, and it's a big decision for Taylor Hall. He's been fantastic for us. We'd love to have him long term and, at the same time, my relationship with Taylor these past three years has been great. He's a very thoughtful kid, asks questions, and I'm no different in asking him questions on how he's feeling and what's important."

Acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Adam Larsson on June 29, 2016, Hall has one season remaining on a seven-year contract worth $6 million per season he signed with the Oilers on Aug. 22, 2012.

Video: OTT@NJD: Hall whips home power-play goal

Hall missed the last 47 games of this season and had arthroscopic surgery in February to remove fragments from his left knee. He had 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 33 games, one season after he scored 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) in 76 games and won the Hart Trophy voted as the NHL most valuable player.

"It's a big decision for any young man or woman to choose where they may work and live, and I want him to have information," Shero said. "That's the relationship we have; here's what we're doing and why, and I want feedback from [him]. That's a natural evolution on how you do these things."

The Devils have 10 picks in the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Friday and Saturday, including the No. 1 choice after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on April 9.

Center Jack Hughes, who scored 112 points (34 goals, 78 assists) in 50 games this season for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team, is projected to be that No. 1 pick.

The Devils could instead choose right wing Kaapo Kakko of TPS in Liiga in Finland. The 18-year-old scored 38 points and led TPS with 22 goals despite being the youngest player on the roster.

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