Devils sign draftee Adam Larsson

Updated: July 15, 2011, 2:18 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Adam Larsson, their first-round pick (No. 4 overall) in June's draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract, general manager Lou Lamoriello announced Friday.

The Bergen (N.J.) Record reports the deal is worth $925,000 per year -- the maximum entry-level salary, if he is on the NHL roster. His AHL salary would be the maximum of $70,000.

The Devils had until 5 p.m. ET Friday to sign Larsson without any stipulations. Had they extended past that, they would have had to pay Larsson's Swedish Elite League team, Skelleftea, $100,000 to extend the deadline to Aug. 15, per terms of the NHL/European League transfer agreement.

Had the Devils not signed Larsson by Aug. 15, he would have been forced to play with Skelleftea this season because he still had a year left on his contract there.

But the Devils and Larsson's representatives were able to come to an agreement late Thursday night.

The contract does not include any individual bonuses, other than Larsson's signing bonus. The Devils have never given out individual bonuses to rookies, according to Lamoriello.

"This young man is as mature as he can get for his age," Lamoriello said. "He understands what that means, and he doesn't want to be different than any other players in that (locker) room. He decided to forgo all those bonuses to get his career under way. That's impressive."

Lamoriello said "if it's best for his development, it's our intention, his intention" that Larsson will be playing in North America this season, either in the NHL or AHL.

Larsson, 18, was the top-rated European player going into the draft. On some boards, he was the No. 1 overall prospect in the entire draft.

Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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