Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier announced today the team has agreed to an entry-level contract with University of Denver defenseman Chris Butler. As is club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Butler (6'1'', 195 lbs.) was named 2008 RBK Hockey/AHCA Division I Men’s All-American West second team this season after leading Denver to its 15th WCHA title. The Sabres fourth-round selection (96th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Butler scored three goals and 17 points while blocking a team-high 110 shots in 41 games for the Pioneers.
The St. Louis, Missouri native appeared in 115 games over three collegiate seasons while majoring in business. He registered 21 goals, 46 assists, 66 points and 108 penalty minutes during that span.[Updated April 14, 2008: The following are general manager Darcy Regier's comments on Sabres prospect Chris Butler after agreeing to terms with the defenseman]Darcy, your thoughts on Chris Butler?
“Well he’s obviously a very good collegiate defenseman, collegiate player. I think when you get the recognition he received, it’s an indication. Now we’ll take it to the next level, but I think he’ll turn out to be a very good pro as well."
How do you think he benefit from that program [University of Denver]?
"Yeah, you have guys like [Colorodo’s Paul] Stastny as well. I think it’s just for a lot of years it’s been a very good program. They won a national championship, it’s one of the elite programs in the country. I think they have the ability to draw the top talent from around the country and I think Butler fits into that group."
Is he the type of guy that can make a fast transition into the NHL?
“I think first and foremost we’ll afford him the time that he needs to play at the professional level and ultimately at the NHL level. As we’ve seen this year with [Andrej] Sekera and Mike Weber
to a lesser extent, young players are in the league, they are doing well in the league and we’ll just have to see where that goes with him.”