As Sabres fans were processing the news that Linus Ullmark bolted for Boston, news broke that Buffalo acquired left-shot defenseman Will Butcher and a 2022 fifth-round draft choice from New Jersey in exchange for future considerations.
Butcher, 26, an all-rookie selection in 2017-18, has appeared in 238 games across four seasons with the Devils, averaging 17:50 of ice time during that span. He was the odd-man out in New Jersey after the Devils reshaped their blue line by signing top free agent Dougie Hamilton and acquiring Ryan Graves from Colorado.
Linus Ullmark, a goalie beloved by Sabres fans for his on-ice acrobatics and effervescent demeanor, is leaving Buffalo to chase a Stanley Cup with an Atlantic Division opponent.
A source told The Buffalo News that the Devils are retaining $1 million of Butcher's $3.733 million contract, which expires at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Butcher can kill penalties and block shots, making him a possible replacement for defenseman Jake McCabe, who signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. Butcher also played at the USA Hockey National Team Development Program when Sabres coach Don Granato was there.
Last season, Butcher averaged 19:02 of ice time across 23 games, finishing with one goal and 11 points. Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Butcher ranked second among all Devils defensemen in power-play ice time and fourth in blocked shots.
As their flurry of late-afternoon moves continue, the Buffalo Sabres have re-signed a familiar name in defenseman Mark Pysyk to a one-year con…
Butcher, though, was not much of a points producer, totaling 14 goals and 106 points in 238 games. A fifth-round draft choice of Colorado in 2013, Butcher won the NCAA's Hobey Baker Award in 2017 and was a target of former Sabres General Manager Tim Murray, However, Butcher opted to sign with the Devils.