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Denver's defenseman Will Butcher to test free agency

Denver's defenseman Will Butcher to test free agency
Posted at 4:34 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 17:23:51-04

If there is one scenario Sabres fan have been accustomed to over the last two years, it's college players exercising their right to free agency and testing the open waters.

In 2016 after acquiring the rights to negotiate with Harvard star Jimmy Vesey, the Sabres ultimately lost out of the college free agent, who signed with the New York Rangers.

This season, it was goaltender Cal Petersen hitting the open market.

If there is a situation to watch even closer, it's that of Denver defenseman and Avalanche prospect Will Butcher, who could very well be available on August 15.

Butcher's agent, Brian Bartlett, confirmed to 7 Eyewitness Sports Reporter Nick Filipowski their client will exercise his right to free agency.  He reiterated the Avs could still be a potential landing spot.

Butcher, who won the Hobey Baker as college hockey's best player, helped power the Pioneers to the national championship in April.

Over the past two seasons the blue liner has 16 goals and 53 assists with Denver.  

Nick's Take

Over the past two seasons with Denver, Butcher has earned a reputation as two-way defenseman, which could play well within the system of new Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley.

As it stands, the blue line is far from a finished product even with the additions made this offseason by Jason Botterill in acquiring Marco Scandella, Victor Antipin and Nathan Beaulieu so at the very least, it's worth a look and consideration by Sabres brass.  

After missing out of Vesey and Petersen, the third time has to be the charm, right?

To add to the intrigue, Butcher played with Jack Eichel and Hudson Fasching during the 2015 World Junior tournament -- so there is already a Sabres connection.

During the event, the defenseman was also selected as one of the Top 3 Players on Team USA.