NHL Draft 2012: New Jersey Devils Will Keep First Round Pick

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 26: New Jersey Devils team president Lou Lamoriello addresses the media at the Prudential Center on April 26, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils will hold onto their first-round pick of the 2012 NHL Draft pick after the deadline to give it up passed Tuesday. The Devils were penalized one first-rounder in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 as part of their penalty for Ilya Kovalchuk's rejected 2010 contract.

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.

For more on the Devils, be sure to check out In Lou We Trust and SB Nation New York.

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