Pittsburgh Penguins Should Enter the Will Butcher Sweepstakes

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 05: University of Denver Defenseman Will Butcher
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 05: University of Denver Defenseman Will Butcher /

The 2017 Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher will hit free agency next week and the Pittsburgh Penguins should make a pitch for the defenseman.

The 2017 Hobey Baker winner, Will Butcher, will become a free agent next week and will provoke his own sweepstakes. Butcher has confirmed his desire to become a free agent and sign with the team of his choosing. The Pittsburgh Penguins should enter this sweepstakes.

Butcher’s free agency will get a lot of attention therefore many teams will be interested. The Pittsburgh Penguins should express their interest in the d-man once he reaches free agency.

While Butcher will receive many calls when he hits the market, the d-man’s agent has made a plug for the Pens. Butcher’s agent recently told the media that, if the Penguins call, they will surely answer the phone.

Meet Will Butcher

Butcher was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013 but has declined to sign with the team. It has been reported that Colorado told the d-man, following his junior season, that they were not interested in signing him. Though it seems the Avalanche could have changed their minds, Butcher is determined for free agency.

The Hobey Baker winner recently graduated from the University of Denver where he posted 37 points in 42 games and won the NCAA national title, with his team, his senior season.

Butcher is a highly skilled two-way defenseman; he knows how to move the puck as well as he knows how to hold down the blue line. He has proven his abilities in NCAA hockey and for USA Hockey in the World Junior Championship and U20.

The 22-year-old has excelled with the University of Denver; he has proved that he has an incredible talent that, with further development, can greatly impact a team.

Butcher can provide solid defense, contribute to production and deepen any team’s defensive depth. A gifted two-way defenceman can be hard to come by, especially one that is young, ready and proven.

A Fit for the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Butcher could be a valuable defensive piece for the Penguins. Not only does Butcher’s style of play and offensive flair match the Penguins’ style, he can also bring reliable defensive depth.

Butcher’s agent has stated that the defenseman wouldn’t require immediate NHL time and, perhaps, would accept some initial AHL time. This can be beneficial, since the Pens currently have reliable d-men on the NHL level but could greatly benefit from stronger depth.

Butcher could become a solid top-six defenseman for the Penguins; he is a hard player who offers dynamic multifaceted play.Butcher could become a staple in the Pens’ future defensive system alongside Olli Maatta and Brian Dumoulin.

Additionally, since Butcher can only receive a standard maximum entry-level contract he will base his decision upon team alone; this can prove to be beneficial for the Penguins. Pittsburgh is an ideal landing spot for any young player because of their system, opportunities and success.

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The Penguins are sure to be interested in his potential. Reports also say that Butcher’s agent has seen Penguins scouts at his games. While we don’t yet know where Butcher will sign, it is safe to assume that the Pens will be interested.