Devils' Will Butcher Out For Season After Thumb Surgery


The New Jersey Devils defensive unit experienced significant changes over the past month.

Andy Greene and Sami Vatanen were shipped off to the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes, respectively, ahead of last month's trade deadline. On Thursday, New Jersey learned it will be without defenseman Will Butcher for the remainder of the season. 

Butcher underwent surgery to repair ruptured ligaments in his right thumb, according to's Mike Morreale. He's expected to be sidelined for the next three to four months, ending his third season in New Jersey. 

Will Butcher go short side cheese to start off his preseason?He sure Will.(@WillButcher4)

— NHL (@NHL) September 17, 2019

"It's not an easy loss," interim coach Alain Nasreddine told reporters, via "We tried to heighten his role this year and give him more minutes, so it would have been good for him to get back this season in an elevated role. But unfortunately, it's a big injury and we're not going to have him for the rest of the season."

The 25-year-old missed seven games since he sustained the injury against the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 18. 

Butcher notched 21 points — four goals and 17 assists — this season. 

Butcher's absence, along with the departures of Greene and Vatanen, means the Devils are without three of their top four scoring defenseman moving forward — Damon Severson leads all defensemen with 28 points.