Matt Butcher is the son of Garth Butcher, who the Canucks picked 10th overall way back in 1981. The second CJAHL player taken in the draft by Vancouver, Butcher most recently played for the Chilliwack Chiefs. He has decent size and shouldn’t have problems filling out his frame over the coming years. He played 59 games for the Chiefs last season, recording 27 goals, 28 points, 55 points and received 94 penalty minutes.
2006-07: After a junior career in the BCHL of being able to physically bully his opponents, Butcher struggled to adapt to playing larger, stronger players. He failed to score a goal and tallied just four assists in 40 games.
2007-08: Butcher’s sophomore season was a marked improvement as he became a factor in Northern Michigan’s offense. He finished sixth in team scoring with 23 points and re-established himself as a legitimate prospect.
Butcher is a moderately low-risk, low-reward type of player who will hopefully fill a depth role in a number of years. He’s a grinding style player who is more than willing to throw his body around to cause some damage and disrupt the flow of play. He is never going to score many goals or put up much in terms of points, but that does not change the fact that he is still a useful component of a team. His challenge is going to be developing his offensive abilities enough to be worth playing as a defensive player. Like any young player looking to become this type of player, his positioning in his own zone will need to evolve over time as well.
Butcher isn’t expected to have significant offensive potential as a professional player, but he plays a hard-working and grinding style which translates well to a variety of different roles. He could become a checking-line player if he continues to improve in college.