The New York Islanders have one of the deepest blue line prospects pools in all of the NHL. However, that should not stop them from going after unrestricted free agent Will Butcher. The Islanders should pursue Butcher.
Like every other club in the NHL, the Isles will take a look at signing Will Butcher.
Butcher is a former 5th round pick of the Colorado Avalanche (2013 draft pick) is a UFA and can sign with any NHL team come August 15th.
The 5’10, 186 lbs former Hobey Baker Award winning defenseman is gifted offensively and excels at running a power play. Last year for the University of Denver Butcher posted 37 points (7 goals) in 43 games.
Why the Isles
New York Islanders
So why should the Isles pursue Butcher?
First off, three of the Isles blue liners become UFA’s at season’s end. They are Calvin de Haan, Thomas Hickey, and Dennis Seidenberg. It’s unclear how Garth Snow and the front office will approach on retaining these veterans for next year and beyond.
Secondly, while the Isles have a deep blue line prospect pool, not every talented youngster becomes an NHL player. Every NHL organization should always be trying to fill up their prospect cupboard even when it’s overflowing.
Also, by adding more depth to a young talented D-core, it could open the door more in regards to a trade. Hello, Matt Duchene.
Tough Sell for Butcher
The hard part would be convincing Butcher to come to Long Island. Not because of anything negative but quite the opposite. He would see a lot of talented young defenseman in the organization.
However, the Isles would present Butcher with a team that is very close to being a contender and for perhaps for years to come. There is a lot of talent in the Isles organization.
At the end of the day, the other talented clubs that have more of a direct path to the NHL will probably wind up signing Butcher. Having said that it doesn’t mean the Isles should not pursue him.