Fresh Meat: Devils Win The Will Butcher Sweepstakes


Will Butcher. Originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. Went on to spend 4 years at the University of Denver where he was the captain of the National Championship winning team last season and also won the 2017 Hobey Baker. As I’m sure most of you are aware of at this point thanks to other high profile prospects before him like Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey, drafted prospects who do not sign with their NHL team by the August 15th four years after they are drafted are then able to hit the unrestricted free agency market. This is what allowed Kevin Hayes to get drafted by the Blackhawks in 2010 and then sign with the Rangers 4 years later. And what allowed Vesey to get drafted by the Nashville Predators and then sign with the Rangers 4 years later.

Will Butcher was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013 and tonight, he announced that he’ll be signing with the New Jersey Devils.

This is a huge get for the Devils. Not that Butcher is projected by be a true #1 stud defenseman in the NHL. But he’s still one of the better names on the blueline that were out for them to grab. And if you take one good look at who they have back there right now, you’ll see that they can use all the help they can get.

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I consider myself to be a somewhat knowledgeable hockey fan in general.  And as a Flyers fan, pretty well versed in the Metro division. Even I couldn’t tell you jack fucking shit about this Devils blueline. You show this lineup to 95% of fans around the league and they might be able to tell you that they’ve heard of 1 of these guys before without lying their ass off. They needed a defenseman and they went out there and got one. One who immediately makes them better starting game 1.

Like I said. Nobody is expecting this kid to grow into a Drew Doughty or a Brent Burns or any other Norris-caliber talent. But he fills a hole the Devils desperately needed to plug. Comes in on a cheap two-year ELC and if it works out, then that’s great for them. If it doesn’t work out, it cost them absolutely nothing.

So now you look at what the Devils have done this offseason. They got Nico Hischier with the #1 overall pick in the draft. They made a trade with the Capitals to land Marcus Johansson. They grabbed Brian Boyle in free agency. And now they win the Butcher sweepstakes. The blueline is still a little suspect but when you have Corey Schneider back there, you can afford to give up a few extra breaks here and there.

P.S. – I hate to do this but I blame this whole college free agency nonsense on LeBron James. This is what happens when you give a guy an hour time slot on national television to announce his decision to leave the Cavs for Miami. He inspired this new generation of athletes who feel empowered to make their own decisions based on what they feel is best for them instead of letting billionaire team owners make those decisions for them based on what’s best for business. For fucking shame. How dare these professional athletes try to control their own lives. Selfish pricks.