Sabres acquire Will Butcher, fifth round pick from New Jersey

Buffalo attempted to land Butcher as a college free agent in the summer of 2017

The Buffalo Sabres have acquired some depth on defense in a trade with the New Jersey Devils.

The Sabres announced on Wednesday the acquisition of left-handed defenseman Will Butcher, along with a 2022 fifth round pick from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for future considerations.

According to Lance Lysowski from The Buffalo News, the Devils are also retaining $1 million of Butcher's $3.7333 million cap hit for the 2021-22 season. The 26-year-old has one more year remaining on his current contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2022.

Butcher comes to the Sabres after spending the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Devils. In 238 career games in Newark, Butcher has scored 14 goals and added 92 assists for 106 points. His best season in the NHL came during his rookie campaign, where he put up a career-high 44 points (5+39) in 81 games. Butcher finished ninth in Calder Trophy voting as the NHL's Rookie of the Year, and was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team.

This past season saw Butcher score a goal and register 10 assists in just 23 games. It was a bounce back in production through limited game action after a 2019-20 campaign that saw him produce just 21 points (4+17) in 56 games.

Originally a fifth round pick (123rd overall) of the Colorado Avalanche, Butcher was a standout player in college at the University of Denver. In four years spent with the Pioneers, Butcher was able to produce 103 points (28+75) in 158 games and help lead the program to a NCAA National Championship