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New Jersey Devils To Keep First-Round Pick At 2012 NHL Draft

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(SB Nation) -- The New Jersey Devils will hold on to their first round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. As part of their penalty for attempting to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a 17-year, $102 million contract in 2010, the Devils were given four years to relinquish their first-round pick. They held on to their No. 4 overall selection in 2011, and let the deadline to make a decision pass by Tuesday.

The decision is somewhat of a head scratcher considering the Devils will be picking down at No. 29 as a result of their run to the Stanley Cup Finals. New Jersey will now have to give up either its 2013 or 2014 selection. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello declined to comment while speaking with NorthJersey.com.

The NHL ruled at the time that Kovalchuk's contract circumvented the salary cap. The Devils also had to pay a $3 million fine and give up their third-round 2011 pick.