After not selecting a college or college bound player in the last couple of drafts, the Avs took a chance on smallish defender Will Butcher, who had three goals and 10 assists in 26 games for the USNTDP. He'll be heading to the University of Denver this fall.
A solid offensive defenseman, Butcher saw a lot of important minutes for Team USA and was often on the ice in must-score situations. He was a weapon on the power play and also showed improved decisionmaking with the puck on his stick. Butcher has good puck skills, is a high-end skater and possesses good distribution skills. His defensive game isn’t the strongest, but he showed an ability to make up for his lack of size with good anticipation and a strong defensive stick. He was very difficult to beat one-on-one and was able to hurry back. Butcher is prone to take risks with the puck and occasionally got burned, but he is effective enough offensively for that to be forgivable. The size is going to concern scouts, but there is upside in his offensive capabilities, which were fully on display in Sochi. He’s a tough guy to project, but he’s worth taking a chance on.
Source: United States of Hockey