Newark, NJ - The New Jersey Devils today have agreed to terms with defenseman Will Butcher on a two-year, entry-level contract with an average annual salary of $925,000. The announcement was made by Devils' Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero.
Butcher, 22, spent the past four seasons, 2013-2017, with University of Denver (NCHC). In 2016-17, he led his club as team captain to win the NCAA National Championship as the no. 1 ranked team in the nation. Butcher became the second Pioneer in the school's history to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's top player. He was also nominated for the award after the 2015-16 season, where he finished third in scoring among all NCAA defensemen with nine goals and 23 assists. During his final collegiate season, he ranked second in points among defensemen with seven goals and 30 assists for 37 points in 43 contests. In 2016-17, Butcher was also honored with several awards including, NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team, NCHC Best Offensive Defenseman, NCHC First All-Star Team, NCHC Player of the Year, USA Hockey's College Player of the Year, NCAA (West) First Team All-American.
The Sun Prairie, Wisconsin native has also represented the United States on the international stage throughout his career. He won a Silver Medal with Team USA at the 2013 IIHF under-18 World Championship, and won Gold at the 2012 IIHF under-18 World Championship. The 5-10, 190lb. defenseman also spent two seasons, 2011-13, with the US National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Butcher skated for three seasons with Travis Zajac's younger brother, Nolan, at University of Denver. The left-shooting defenseman was born on January 6, 1995 and was originally selected in the fifth round, 123rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche at the 2013 NHL Draft.