Butcher filed for arbitration Friday. The 24-year-old made just $925,000 in each of the past two seasons, registering 74 points over 159 contests. With production like that, Butcher's next contract will include a substantial raise on his entry-level contract. Likely to start next season on New Jersey's third defensive pairing, Butcher could ascend the depth chart with a solid showing at training camp.
Butcher was extended a qualifying offer from New Jersey on Tuesday. Butcher, 24, finished 2018-19 with 30 points, 14 fewer than his 2017-18 total. Part of his regression, points-wise, had to do with the plethora of injuries New Jersey dealt with. With the arrival of P.K. Subban, the Devils' blue line is certain to look different, but Butcher should remain in the mix and likely will slot into a third-pairing role again in 2019-20.
Butcher dished out an assist in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win over Florida. He finishes the season with four goals and 30 points in 78 games. Butcher took a step back after an outstanding rookie season, in which he posted 44 points, including 23 on the power play. While he managed a respectable 14 points with the extra man this season, Butcher added on just 16 more at even strength, along with a minus-17 rating. All the prominent injuries around him are partly to blame for Butcher's inability to get going offensively, so the restricted free agent has a good chance of bouncing back next season.
Butcher dished out a power-play assist in Monday's win over the Sabres. Butcher helped set up the winning goal with a pass to Pavel Zacha, who sniped a shot past Linus Ullmark in the third period. The 24-year-old has regressed since his 44-point rookie season, but he still has a respectable 29 points in 2018-19.
Butcher (illness) will return to the lineup Monday against Buffalo, Amanda Stein of the Devils' official site reports. Butcher missed two games with a stomach bug but appears to be back at full health. With numerous other Devils returning from their respective injuries of late, the offensive-minded blueliner will be coming back to a lineup that has a lot more juice, potentially clearing the path for Butcher to pick up the pace down the stretch of what has been a disappointing sophomore season.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||81||5||39||44||1||3||0||1||0||0||151|