Former University of Denver defenseman Will Butcher may or may not be wearing a Colorado Avalanche sweater this fall.
According to Butcher's agent Brian Bartlett, last year's Hobey Baker Award winner decided not to sign with the Avalanche prior to August 15. Instead, the defenseman will take his chances in the unrestricted free agency market on August 16 this year, following a stellar season capped off by an NCAA National Championship with the Pioneers.
Bartlett told 9NEWS Butcher isn't closing the door with the Avalanche yet, and will instead entertain and explore other offers. According to the collective bargaining agreement, a player who is drafted by a team but defers to play college all four years, can talk to other teams after his senior season -- not just the one who drafted him.
The 5-foot-10, 195 pound defenseman was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the 5th round (123rd overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Since being drafted Butcher worked his way to becoming one of the top defenseman in the NCAA as both the captain of the Pioneers and a leading playmaker.
During his senior season, the Pioneers captain had 37 points (7g/30a) and a positive 27 plus/minus rating after 43 games.
The 22-year-old spent much of his youth career with the United State National Development Team.