The Devils continued to build their team going forward as they have today re-signed defenseman Will Butcher to a three-year contract worth $11.19 million ($3.73 million annually). Butcher, a restricted free agent, will avoid a salary arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Friday, according to the Devils’ press release on the subject.
Butcher, 24, had 30 points last year, including four goals and 26 assists in 78 games played. That likely played into the contract numbers.
Butcher originally signed a two-year entry level contract worth $925,000 annually after deciding to sign with the Devils on August 27, 2917 according to the press release. He was originally drafted in the fifth round (123rd overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013 but declined to sign with them following four years at the University of Denver.
While at the University of Denver, he won the 2017 Hobey Baker Award “as the top player in NCAA Division I men’s hockey.” He also led the Pioneers to a National Championship also in 2017.
His career totals in the NHL thus far read: 74 points (nine goals and 65 assists) over 159 games (regular season) and four points (a goal and three assists) over just five playoff games all for the Devils.
According to the Devils’ PR Department’s press release, in his rookie year, Butcher “set a franchise record for points in a Devils’/NHL debut with 3A (3PTS) in the team’s home opener October 7 vs. Colorado.” He also was the “first rookie defenseman in NHL history to record at least 8A in his first 3GP of an NHL career.” In addition, Butcher was “the first Devil in team history to reach 20PTS in first 30 NHL games.” He led Devils’ defensemen in scoring with 44 points (five goals and 39 assists) in his rookie year, ending up fourth in the team in scoring overall. The Sun Prairie, Wisconsin native was also named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team following the conclusion of his rookie year in 2017-18.