Butler spent the past two seasons with the Ottawa Senators, producing six goals and 16 points in 56 regular-season games last season. He was scoreless in three Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"He signed a two-way (contract), so we’ll just see what develops, but he has the potential of being a top-six forward," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Record.
Butler, who was undrafted, signed with Ottawa as a free agent on March 29, 2010.
The Senators bought out Butler's contract on July 27, making him a free agent.
"It’s going to be really up to him," Lamoriello said. “He’ll be given every opportunity. He visited and spent some time here and had some other opportunities."
The 6-foot, 185-pound native of Marlborough, Mass., split the 2010-11 season between Ottawa and the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton. He played in all 23 games for Binghamton en route to the team's 2011 Calder Cup Championship.
Butler spent four seasons at the University of New Hampshire, scoring 61 goals and piling up 121 points in 153 games for the Wildcats. As a senior, he was named a Hockey East First Team All-Star and the conference's player of the year after scoring a career-high 29 goals and 53 points in 39 games. With Butler in the lineup, New Hampshire went 87-49-17.
"He also played in Binghamton for (former Devils assistant and AHL head coach) Kurt Klienendorst when they won the Calder Cup, so we know a lot about him there, and also his college coach (Dick Umile) I had at Providence," Lamoriello told the newspaper. "So, we know enough about him."