Denver defenseman Will Butcher wins Hobey Baker Award

SI Staff
Sports Illustrated
<p>The New Jersey Devils have landed college hockey&#39;s top player by agreeing to sign defenseman Will Butcher to a two-year, $1.85 million contract.</p><p>The agreement announced by the Devils on Sunday comes about two weeks after the University of Denver player became a free agent by turning down an opportunity to sign with the Colorado Avalanche before a deadline passed on Aug. 15. The Avalanche selected Butcher in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.</p><p>Butcher received the maximum entry-level salary allowed under NHL rules. A person with direct knowledge of the contract details told The Associated Press that Baker can also make an additional $850,000 in annual bonuses, which is also the maximum for rookie deals.</p><p>The person spoke the AP on the condition of anonymity because the Devils did not reveal that.</p><p>In choosing the Devils, the Hobey Baker winner joins a team rebuilding through youth after selecting Nico Hischier with the No. 1 pick in the draft.</p><p>The 22-year-old from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, capped his senior season by leading Denver to the national championship in April. He had seven goals and a team-high 30 assists in 43 games in becoming just the seventh defenseman to win college hockey&#39;s top honor.</p><p>---</p><p>This story has been corrected to note that Butcher can make up to $850,000 in annual bonuses.</p><p>---</p><p>For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey</p>

Devils Sign Hobey Baker Winner Will Butcher to Entry-Level Deal

The New Jersey Devils have landed college hockey's top player by agreeing to sign defenseman Will Butcher to a two-year, $1.85 million contract.

The agreement announced by the Devils on Sunday comes about two weeks after the University of Denver player became a free agent by turning down an opportunity to sign with the Colorado Avalanche before a deadline passed on Aug. 15. The Avalanche selected Butcher in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.

Butcher received the maximum entry-level salary allowed under NHL rules. A person with direct knowledge of the contract details told The Associated Press that Baker can also make an additional $850,000 in annual bonuses, which is also the maximum for rookie deals.

The person spoke the AP on the condition of anonymity because the Devils did not reveal that.

In choosing the Devils, the Hobey Baker winner joins a team rebuilding through youth after selecting Nico Hischier with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

The 22-year-old from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, capped his senior season by leading Denver to the national championship in April. He had seven goals and a team-high 30 assists in 43 games in becoming just the seventh defenseman to win college hockey's top honor.

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This story has been corrected to note that Butcher can make up to $850,000 in annual bonuses.

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For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

CHICAGO (AP) Denver senior Will Butcher has won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey.

Butcher is the first defenseman to win the honor since Matt Gilroy in 2009 and the seventh overall since it was first handed out in 1981.

Butcher, a fifth-round selection by the Colorado Avalanche, has seven goals and a team-high 30 assists in 42 games. Butcher and the Pioneers will face Minnesota Duluth in the Frozen Four final Saturday night.

Forwards Zach Aston-Reese of Northeastern and Mike Vecchione of Union were the other finalists for the honor.

Baker was a football and hockey star for Princeton and the biggest name in hockey before serving in the Army Air Corps during World War I. He was 26, already scheduled to be shipped home, when he was killed in a plane crash in France.

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