In addition to selecting prospects to restock the organizational coffers for the future, the NHL Entry Draft is also a time when league general managers talk with agents about re-signing free agents.
The free agent market opens at noon on Wednesday and Devils GM Lou Lamoriello took avantage of his time in Montreal to touch base with the agents of almost all of the team's potential free agents.
"We nearly talked to everybody, but didn't get through to everyone with the way it is [the busy schedule]," Lamoriello said. "But we'll do it in the next couple of days."
Lamoriello said the Devils will make qualifying offers to restricted free agents Travis Zajac and Andy Greene before the 5 p.m. deadline on Monday, but had not yet done so. If the Devils didn't make the qualifying offers, both would become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
Lamoriello was pleased overall with what the team was able to accomplish at the draft. After trading up three spots to take Swedish center Jacob Josefson with the 20th pick in the first round on Friday, the Devils seemed intent in Rounds 2-7 on Saturday with getting bigger, particularly on the blue line.
Four of the six players the Devils selected today were defensemen an none of them were shorter than 6-foot-3.
Second-rounder Eric Gelinas grew two inches in the last year to reach 6-4 and weighs 185. Third-round pick Alexander Urbom is 6-3, 196, fourth-rounder Seth Helgeson is 6-5, 220 and seventh-rounder Curtis Gedig is 6-3, 190.
"We were fortunate that they available and they have size and strength, but also mobility," Lamoriello said. "We feel pretty good about today. It was a very, very productive day. We added depth at the blue line and also the three forwards that we got they all bring different dimensions."
Lamoriello said adding size on the blue line was one of the team's goals for the draft.
"And they're tough," Lamoriello said. "We just felt that there's nothing like having that strength when you can get it."
The three forwards the Devils drafted this weekend were Josefson (6-0, 187), fifth-round pick Derek Rodwell (6-1, 190) and sixth-round pick Ashton Bernard (6-4, 197), an enforcer with 320 minutes in penalties over the last two seasons. Josefson is a center. Rodwell, who is headed to North Dakota, and Bernard are both left wings.
Of Urbom, who was teammates with Josefson on Djurgarden in the Swedish Elite League, Lamoriello said, "With (Swedish scout) Danny (Labraatan), he was very high on the list. It was interesting where he was at. You never know why players slip for different reasons, but we couldn't pass up on him where he was at."
Of Gelinas: "He's very mobile, skates very well, very athletic."