This off-season, Sabres fans shuddered at the idea of a college player leaving in free agency when discussing Cal Petersen. Now, Buffalo may benefit from the loophole.
Hobey Baker Award-winning defenseman Will Butcher becomes a free agent tonight at midnight, and the Sabres are among the three teams he plans to visit according to The Denver Post.
Butcher also plans on visiting with the New Jersey Devils and the Vegas Golden Knights.
The 5’10” lefty defenseman is currently property of the Colorado Avalanche, who drafted him in the 2013 draft. In his senior year he scored seven goals and 37 points in 43 games with the Denver University Pioneers.
Avalanche GM Joe Sakic met with Butcher after he and the Pioneers won the NCAA title, but Butcher told him he was not interested in talking about a deal at that point.
“I told him I didn’t want an offer yet,” Butcher told The Denver Post. “I wanted to sit with him, talk with him about my year, what they’re thinking, what their philosophy is going to be. My parents are coming in this weekend for the banquet, and I want to talk to my parents before they offer me anything.”
It goes without saying Butcher would be an outstanding addition to a reworked Sabres defense. Buffalo has already added Marco Scandella, Nathan Beaulieu and Victor Antipin to the blueline for next season.