The New Jersey Devils have signed the University of Denver’s defenseman Will Butcher to a two-year, entry-level contract. He will make an average annual salary of $925,000. The Devils’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero announced the roster move.
The 22-year old defender spent the past four seasons with the University of Denver (NCHC). In those four years, he recorded 28 goals and 75 assists for 103 total points in 158 games.
In addition, in the 2016-2017 season, he was the captain of the squad and led them to the NCAA National Championship as the no. 1 ranked team in the nation.
Interestingly, he is only the second Pioneer in the school’s history to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player.
Furthermore, two reasons I think he joined the New Jersey Devils is that he has a chance on reaching the professional level quickly and that he played three season’s with current Devils’ player Travis Zajac’s younger brother Nolan for three seasons at the University of Denver.
Lastly, almost a dozen teams expressed interest in signing Butcher, including the Blue Jackets, Kings, Golden Knights, Penguins, and Sabres. Of those teams, he visited Buffalo, Los Angeles, and Vegas earlier this week.
Note: The left-handed shooting defenseman was originally selected in the fifth round, 123rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche at the 2013 NHL Draft.