ad-fullscreen

Top college free agent Will Butcher eyes Golden Knights

Updated August 15, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Highly regarded collegiate defenseman Will Butcher has decided to let time run out with the Colorado Avalanche and is considering the Golden Knights as a place to continue his career.

The deadline for drafted college players to sign an entry-level contract with the NHL team that selected them was Tuesday. According to his Boston-based agent, Brian Bartlett, Butcher will not sign with the Avalanche, which drafted him in the fifth round of the 2013 entry draft and held his rights for four years.

“We anticipate talking to several teams in the next couple of days,” Bartlett said Tuesday. “I would think a lot of teams would be interested in a young, puck-moving defenseman. Ultimately, it’s about finding the best situation for Will to continue his hockey career.”

With his draft rights lapsing, Butcher becomes an unrestricted free agent.

In addition to the Knights, Butcher, 22, reportedly plans to speak with the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres. The Denver Post was the first to report Butcher’s plans.

Butcher captained the University of Denver and helpedthe Pioneers to the NCAA championship in April. A left-handed shot, he scored seven goals and had 30 assists this past season. He was selected as college hockey’s best player in winning the Hobey Baker in April.

Golden Knights general manager George McPhee said the team would pursue any NCAA free agent if that player could help the team. The Knights have 42 players currently under contract. The NHL maximum is 50.

Bartlett said he has been doing his homework on Las Vegas and whether playing for the Knights would be a good fit. One of his other clients is Knights forward Alex Tuch, and he said his two clients will talk about the Knights.

“Alex has had a taste of life there when he was at the development camp,” Bartlett said of Tuch. “He loves it there.”

Bartlett said he believes Butcher has visited Las Vegas at least once. But he has not been beyond the Strip.

“I was telling Will there’s more to Vegas than just the Strip,” he said. “There are a lot of positives to playing there. The biggest is you’re part of something new and you’re getting in on the ground floor, which is interesting.

“They’ve got a lot of defensemen, but they probably need some defensemen who aren’t 28 years old.”

Bartlett said he anticipates the process for Butcher to decide on where to play won’t be a dragged-out process..

“Will’s going to be on a number of conference calls Wednesday, and if there’s an opportunity that’s compelling, we’ll pursue it,” Bartlett said. “I think with talking to the teams and visiting a couple of the cities, it will take about a week to get it done.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

section-ads_high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Cody Eakin excited about Golden Knights home preseason opener
Golden Knights center Cody Eakin expects T-Mobile Arena to be a tough place for visiting teams to play in. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes debut
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made his debut for the team on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2017 in the team's preseason 4-2 win in Anaheim. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on Fleury's debut
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant gives his thoughts on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's debut Saturday, Sept. 24, 2017 in the team's preseason 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt on teammates golfing skills
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about the best and worst golfers on the team Saturday at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights goaltender Calvin Pickard on days off
Golden Knights goaltender Calvin Pickard talks about Friday's day off after practice Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jonathan Marchessault talks about playing alongside Vadim Shipachyov
Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault is quickly adjusting to his new line mate Vadim Shipachyov. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights forward David Perron on a good forward line
Golden Knights forward talks about the ingredients for a good forward line. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Goaltender Calvin Pickard on Golden Knights' loss to Sharks
Golden Knights goaltender Calvin Pickard talks about the team's 5-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on Golden Knights' first preseason loss
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's 5-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Forward David Perron on Golden Knights' 5-2 loss
Golden Knights forward David Perron talks about the team's 5-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about Tuesday's win over Colorado
Gerard Gallant hopes his team will cut down on penalties as preseason goes along. Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Oscar Lindberg is encouraged by Golden Knights' 2-0 start
Golden Knights forward Oscar Lindberg is quickly adjusting to his new teammates. Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like