Bobby Butler, a senior forward from the University of New Hampshire Wildcats and Massachusetts native, inked a two-year free-agent deal with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators yesterday. Butler, currently in Washington with the team as they prepare to play the Capitals tonight, is expected to stay with the club for the remainder of the regular season (6 games). He could see ice time as early as Thursday, when the Sen’s take home ice against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Senators were one of a dozen teams looking to sign Butler.
Butler finished the final season of his NCAA career as the nation’s top goal scorer (29), tied for second in points (53), finished second in goals per game (.74), 5th in points per game (1.36) and 10th in short-handed goals (2). In Hockey East action, Butler was ranked first in both goals (21) and points (41), and sixth in assists (20). His season honors included: 2010 Hockey East Player of the Year, Hockey East All Star First Team, Hockey East Scoring Champion, Hockey East Three Stars Award winner, 2010 Walter Brown Award winner (given to the best American-born college player in NE), and a Hobey Baker Top 10 finalist (presented to the nation’s top player in college hockey). The Hobey Hat Trick (top three finalists) will be announced on March 31st and the winner will be announced on April 9th during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships.
Said Senator’s GM Bryan Murray, "when I saw him in the NCAA playoffs, he was a very good college player. He's a young guy who will need some time but very definitely, a guy who has the potential to be a goal scorer in the National Hockey League”.
The Senators currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 87 points.