It's just been recently confirmed by the team that the Devils have signed Bobby Butler, after hours of speculation. The deal is a two-way deal, however no financial terms have been disclosed. Now that the signing is official, I might as well share a few thoughts on the newest Devil.
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Outside Opinion on Butler
Assets- Displays natural goal-scoring ability and a true nose for the net. Has sound offensive instincts and guile.
Flaws- Doesn't have ideal size for the National Hockey League, so he must add strength in order to maximize his potential.
Potential- Inconsistent scoring winger.
Adnan from Silver Seven Sens
What Can Butler Do?
From what others have to say, Butler does have potential but he might not end up panning out due to other circumstances, such as his lack of strength and usage. From what Adnan said, he did pretty well with one of the team`s top scorers (Jason Spezza), but he didn`t do that well without him. Looking at his statistics, it does show. He had 21 points in 36 games last season (mainly with Spezza), but only had 16 points in 56 games last season (without Spezza). For those wondering, the Senators had to deal with a lot of injuries in 2010-11, while in 2011-12 they were able to stay healthy, so Butler didn`t get the same opportunity as he did in the previous season.
Of course, while he wasn`t able to make a big impact on the score sheet, he was able to drive play forward when he was on the ice. Like the Sens, the Devils are a good puck possession team, so he should be able to fit in.
Another thing to note is that Butler was signed to a two-way contract. While i`m not sure if he`s waiver exempt, he could also be of use to the Albany Devils. He`s been a somewhat effective scorer at the AHL level with Binghamton, so if he isn`t able to make an impact with the big club, he can at least help the A-Devs.
How Will Butler be Utilized?
This is the most important question with regards to the signing. My best guess is that he's going to be used as a bottom 6 forward (namely on the 3rd line with Clarkson and Josefson). He should be able to put up a decent amount of points playing with those two and his ability to push play forward should be helpful for those two, similar to the role Alexei Ponikarovsky played. However, he could also potentially play in a top 6 role. However, I'd prefer to see him being used as a bottom 6.
What do you think?
With all that being said, do you like the signing of Bobby Butler? Do you think that he should be used as a top 6 forward or a bottom 6 forward? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading.