Will Butcher
Image: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Will Butcher

Hometown:

Madison Wisconsin

Currently Playing In:

NCAA

Birthday:

1995-01-06

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

5th round (123rd overall), 2013

Weight:

175 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2010-11: Will Butcher skated for the Madison Capitols midget major team in Wisconsin. He scored 10 goals with 20 assists in 34 games and had 2 penalty minutes.

2011-12: Butcher joined the USA National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI — skating for the NTDP’s U17 and U18 teams. He represented the USA in four international tournaments, winning gold medals with the U18 team at the 2012 World Junior Championship and with the U!7 squad at the 2011 Four Nations (Russia) and 2012 Vlad Dzurilla U18 tournaments and skating on the second-place USA squad at the 2012 World Hockey Challenge in Canada. Butcher had 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes in 10 regular season games with the U18 team and was scoreless with an even plus/minus at the U18 WJC. He scored 8 goals with 23 assists and had 8 penalty minutes in 46 games for the U17 squad and had 6 assists in five games at the World Hockey Challenge. In September 2011 he committed to playing college hockey at Denver in 2013-14.

2012-13: Butcher returned to Ann Arbor for his second season in the NDTP program; winning a silver medal at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship in Sochi, Russia. He was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for the U18 team, finishing with 11 goals and 26 assists in 67 games and had 8 penalty minutes. In seven games at the WJC he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes. Butcher, rated 170th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings, was ranked 87th in the final rankings and selected by Colorado in the fifth round (123rd overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Butcher skated in 38 of 42 games for the University of Denver as a freshman — joining the USA U20 team for the 2014 World Juniors in mid-season. Playing on an offensively-inclined blue line with the Pioneers, he scored 8 goals with 8 assists and was minus-3 with 8 penalty minutes. Denver finished sixth in the eight-team National College Hockey Conference but won four straight games to win the conference playoff title in the league’s first season The Pioneers topped last-place Miami, 4-3, in the title game before falling to defending national champion Boston College, 6-2, in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals. Butcher scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was an even plus/minus with 2 penalty minutes in five games for the USA — which finished fifth after losing to Russia in the quarterfinals. 

Talent Analysis

Butcher is a smart two-way defenseman. He has the ability to play the point on the powerplay and kill penalties but his talents lie in the offensive zone. While offensive play is his strength he is a responsible defender. For a player of his size and stature he plays a much bigger game.

Future

Butcher is in his sophomore season at the University of Denver in 2014-15. Denver has been one of the top teams in college hockey to start the season and Butcher and Edmonton prospect Joey Laleggia have effectively provided playmaking from the blue line for the Pioneers. He attended the USA Hockey Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid in August and is expected to once again represent the USA at the World Juniors this year. Butcher is progressing quite nicely and should continue to be a staple of the Pioneers' defensive corps. At the professional level he projects as an effective two-way defenseman and power play quarterback. He will have to add strength and bulk over the next few seasons to reach that level.

Colorado Avalanche rookies gaining valuable NHL experience

by Chau Vo
on

Photo: Colorado Avalanche backup Cal Pickard has provided excellent work in his rookie campaign (courtesy of Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Colorado Avalanche prospect Cal Pickard has provided excellent work in his rookie campaign (courtesy of Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire)

 

The Avalanche’s chances of making the playoffs this year seem to get bleaker and bleaker as each day passes. For each step forward the team makes, they take another two back. This season has not been one that the team and fans expected after last year’s success.

Read more»

2015 WJC Review: Penalties doom Team USA yet again

by DJ Powers
on

Sonny Milano - Team USA

Photo: Plymouth Whalers forward and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano was one of the more effective forwards offensively for Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

 

For Team USA, it was almost like 2014 all over again.

After a strong start to the 2015 World Junior Championship, the United States saw their medal hopes dashed with another disappointing fifth place finish. As in last year’s tournament, penalties proved costly to the Americans, and once again it came at the hands of Russia in the quarterfinals. Read more»

2015 WJC Podcast: A look back at countries eliminated in the quarterfinals

by Ken McKenna
on

Hudson Fasching - Team USA

Photo: University of Minnesota forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching was named one of the top three players for Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

 

The 2015 World Junior Championship is now in the books, with host country Canada taking the gold medal after a tight, 5-4 win over Russia in the final game. Slovakia was a surprise medalist, taking the bronze medal after upsetting Sweden in the other game that took place on the final day of the tournament. Read more»

2015 WJC Preview: Talented USA squad should be in the running for gold

by DJ Powers
on

Jack Eichel - Team USA

Photo: Boston University forward and 2015 prospect Jack Eichel will lead a strong Team USA forward group at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

 

23 players will represent the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship (WJC) that begins on Dec. 26th in Montreal and Toronto. Team USA‘s strengths this year will include a deep and talented group of defenders to go along with potentially one of the most talented groups of forwards that the U.S. has iced at this tournament. Read more»

Overall depth of Colorado Avalanche prospect pool still weak

by Chau Vo
on

Colorado Avalanche v Tampa Bay Lightning

Photo: Sami Aitokallio will battle with Calvin Pickard for playing time with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters (courtesy of Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

While much can be said about the Colorado Avalanche being led by their young stars at the NHL level, there is not much the team can depend on for depth if immediate help is required. Graduations of high draft picks from recent years have led to a bare farm system that will take years to refresh.

Read more»

Related Articles