The NHL draft is just a couple of months away but now is the time that NHL franchises start signing their college prospects. The Sabres did just that by signing defenseman Chris Butler to his rookie contract. I expect that Butler will play most , if not all, of next season in the AHL. Butler has had a good career at Denver University but realized that it was time to make the jump to the professional level.
"It's definitely exciting," Butler said by phone from Buffalo. "But it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I got along so well with the guys, such a strong bond. I didn't want to let anyone down. But I had a lot of support with the decision. They told me they didn't think I was letting them down or anything."
It's good to see another player in the organization that appears to have a good head on his shoulders. We can only hope that he enjoys the same success at the NHL level that some of his former teammates have had. Butler played at DU with Matt Carle who is a solid defenseman for the San Jose Sharks.
I anticipate that Buffalo will have a couple of other players targeted for signing as well. At the NCAA level I would think that both Tim Kennedy and Nathan Gerbe will be on the Sabres list of players to sign.