Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Don't Mind Waiting

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Don't Mind Waiting

Article excerpt

A year ago, the Devils were in an unfamiliar position for the first round of the NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota.

They had missed the playoffs for the first time since 1996 and won the draft lottery, giving them the fourth overall pick -- their first in the top five in 20 years. The preparation was pretty straightforward as they knew they were going to get someone in the top four on their draft board and were pretty happy it was defenseman Adam Larsson.

Things will be a bit more complicated for the Devils as they await their selection in the first round of this year's draft tonight in Pittsburgh. After reaching the Stanley Cup Finals, they hold the No. 29 pick overall.

In a draft most experts are saying isn't very deep on high-end talent, it will be impossible to predict who will be available when the Devils' turn to pick finally arrives. That's something they're used to, though.

Before last year, the Devils had picked better than 20th only once since 1996.

"I'd rather have it that way every time," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said, referring to the regular-season and playoff success that leads to a higher draft pick. "We've been very fortunate with some of those picks."

With the Devils picking 29th and the projections about the lack of draft depth, there had been much speculation that they would forfeit this year's first-rounder to complete their penalty for being found guilty of salary cap circumvention two summers ago with Ilya Kovalchuk's rejected 17-year, $102 million contract.

After doing their predraft preparations, however, the Devils believe they're still going to get a quality player at No. 29, so they will wait until 2013 or 2014 to forfeit a first-round pick.

"The last several years we keep hearing that and yet every year there are some surprise players that come out," Lamoriello said of the draft's supposed lack of depth. …

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