Will Butcher
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Devils appear to be done with the once very promising defenseman.

Leen Amin

The New Jersey Devils have been busy on Wednesday, the first day of free agency, and decided to make a trade to go with some of their signings.

They traded LHD Will Butcher with a fifth round pick in the 2022 NHL draft to the Buffalo Sabres for future considerations.

Butcher, who is 26 years old, was good to begin his NHL career and very promising. However, he’s gotten worse with each passing year and hasn’t done much to prove that he can be a part of the team’s blueline of the future. Even so, this is an odd move.

Butcher is under contract for just one more year and is still relatively young. The Devils have also made moves (trading for Ryan Graves, signing Dougie Hamilton) to improve the defensive group as a whole, something that could’ve benefited Butcher.

The fact that they traded him along with a draft pick isn’t ideal, either, especially when we don’t know what the return is.

Even with this odd trade, the Devils have had a good offseason and might not even be done just yet.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.