After completing his four years at the University of Denver, taking home a national championship and winning the Hobey Baker Trophy last season, defenseman Will Butcher had also opted for unrestricted free agency, instead of signing with his NHL drafted team, the Colorado Avalanche. Instead, Butcher has opted to go to New Jersey, quite the opposite of what happened with forward Alex Kerfoot earlier this week.
The scouting reports on this kid mostly centre around his offensive upside, as he is a bit undersized, but has some pretty quick feet, gets the puck to the net and can quarterback a power play. The jury is still out as to whether or not he's NHL-ready right off the hop, but with the Devils lack of depth on their blueline, Butcher will get a long look at training camp and he'll work to unseat someone already in a projected spot.
Butcher's decision makes it back-to-back years where the Hobey Baker winner opted for unrestricted free agency after his NCAA career, with last summer's move for Jimmy Vesey, heading to the Rangers instead of the Predators.