Hobey Baker award winner Will Butcher has not even played a single NHL game, and yet his name is all over the headlines league-wide. The 22-year-old defenseman will reportedly become an unrestricted free agent on August 15, and be looking for a new deal.
His agent, Brian Bartlett, has confirmed to BSN Denver that the young man will soon look at all his options and make a decision about his future:
“We informed the Avalanche of that decision. We appreciate what Colorado has done, and we’re not ruling out the Avalanche as a potential destination. But we just feel there will be other opportunities that should be explored too, and therefore we’re going (to the 15th).”
“He’s in a unique position, so he has the opportunity to take advantage of it. Those things don’t come around too often.”
Since a deal with the Colorado Avalanche is pretty unlikely, many teams will definitely be interested by his services, because of his status as an entry-level player. Even though his base salary will be limited, some organizations may pitch in with a few performance-related bonuses.
Butcher, who played the last four seasons with the University of Denver, amassed seven goals and 30 assists for 37 points last season. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL draft by the Avalanche, but decided to stay in college instead of playing in the NHL.