New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher has undergone surgery to repair ruptured thumb ligaments. His 2019-20 season is now over.
The New Jersey Devils will be without defenseman Will Butcher for the remainder of the season. On Thursday, Amanda Stein of the Devils official website reported that Butcher will miss 3-4 months after undergoing surgery. The procedure was to repair ruptured right thumb ligaments.
Butcher will stay under the care of the Devils medical staff.
❗️Update on #NJDevils Will Butcher:
Butcher had surgery to repair ruptured right thumb ligaments from an injury he sustained at St. Louis on February 18.
He is expected to make a full recovery in 3-4 months and will continue to be under the observation of our medical staff.
— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) March 5, 2020
While he will miss the rest of the season, Butcher is on pace to return for training camp in September.
Butcher suffered the injury in a Feb. 18 loss to the St. Louis Blues. He’s missed each of the teams’ last seven games.
With Butcher off the ice, the Devils are 4-1-2.
In 56 games this season, Butcher scored four goals with 17 assists for a total of 21 points.
The Colorado Avalanche selected Butcher with the No. 123 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He would never play for Colorado, choosing to spend four seasons at the University of Denver.
At Denver, Butcher earned the Hobey Baker Award in 2017, which is awarded to the best player in college hockey.
He signed a two-year, entry-level maximum contract with New Jersey in August 2017.
In the 2017-18 season, Butcher scored five goals with 39 assists for a total of 44 points. These impressive numbers led to him earning a three-year extension from the Devils worth $11.2 million in 2019.
With Butcher out, the Devils called up 24-year-old defenseman Josh Jacobs from the AHL on March 1. They will likely keep him at the NHL level. The team also added defenseman Fredrik Claesson in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes that sent Sami Vatanen to Raleigh.
New Jersey has 16 regular-season games remaining before entering a pivotal offseason that could see the team make three first-round draft choices. The Devils will face the Blues on Friday at the Prudential Center before a road matchup with the crosstown-rival New York Rangers on Saturday.