Devils avoid salary arbitration with Will Butcher
New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero has been busy this summer and he took care of some more business on Wednesday morning. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Devils have re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Will Butcher to a three-year deal. The contract carries an annual average value of $3.73 million.
Butcher and the Devils were scheduled to go to salary arbitration on Aug. 2, but that will no longer be necessary.
The 24-year-old just completed his second season with New Jersey. He had five goals and 44 points in 81 games with the Devils in his rookie year but his number came down slightly last year, as he posted four goals and 30 points in 78 contests.
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The youngster is an important part of the Devils’ power play, as he picked up 14 points on the man-advantage in 2018-19. Only Kyle Palmieri (18) had more points on the power play than Butcher last season.
Per @FriedgeHNIC , the #NJDevils have signed RFA, Will Butcher to a 3-year extension. Butcher is a solid point producer, especially on the powerplay. He's a gifted skater who moves the puck out of the defensive zone well, rarely resorting to dumping it out. pic.twitter.com/mANtthvWBF— LogiqBets (@LogiqBets) July 31, 2019
Butcher becomes the fifth-highest paid defenseman on his team behind P.K. Subban ($9 million), Andy Greene ($5 million), Sami Vatanen ($4.875 million), and Damon Severson ($4.166 million).
Shero only has one more restricted free agent to get signed before the start of the year and that’s forward Pavel Zacha. After the Butcher signing, the Devils still have $8.715 million in cap space, so they could probably make another move or two if they wanted to.