Windor Spitfires To Target Will Butcher

Will Butcher
Will Butcher (5'11 175 lbs.) a slick puck moving defenseman from Sun Prairie [near Madison], Wisconsin committed to the University of Denver in September 2011.

Butcher is considered to be one of the best American defensemen in his age group and has been mentioned as a possible  first round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Butcher is heading his second and final year of eligibility with the USDP and is slated to arrive at DU in 2013. The Windsor Star reported this week that he "hasn't crossed the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League off his list."

Windsor will make a strong push to sign Butcher away from DU, so it remains to be seen how this recruiting battle turns out.
2013 Recruiting Class
F Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL)
F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL)
F Landon Smith (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Connor Chatham (U.S. Under-17)
F Ray Pigozzi (Chicago, USHL)
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-17)
F Cody DePourcq (Penticton, BCHL)
F Trevor Moore (Tri-Cities, USHL)

2014 Recruiting Class
F Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage, U-16)
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-17)
F Dylan Gambrell (Colorado Thunderbirds, AAA)
F Garrett Gamez (Tri-Cities, USHL)


dggoddard said...

DU has been fortunate to never losing a committed recruit to the CHL, so we'll have to hope the streak continues.

Hopefully Coach Miller's ties to the Butcher family will help carry the day.

Anonymous said...

DU has lost 4 players to the CHL since 2000- Matt Pettinger, TJ Fast, and Keith Seabrook and William Wrenn.

Granted, they all left after coming to DU, but DU still lost them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:11-

True...but, it could very easily be argued that of those four, only Wrenn saw any measurable career bump as a result of his move to Major Junior.

Pettinger was always going to be a fringe NHL regular, regardless of where he played. Fast and Seabrook, though both playing professionally, still haven't touched the ice in an NHL game - i.e. they're EXACTLY where they would have been had they played all four years at DU.

The life of a college athlete isn't for everyone...and it takes some kids a while to realize it.

Plus, the grass is always greener and all that.

Personally, I think Gwoz's track record here is nothing short of miraculous, given the obvious allure of Major Junior.

Anonymous said...

I hope we get Butcher to DU, as he sounds like a great talent. On the other hand, if he comes to DU, he will probably only play one year, two years max. The fact that there are rumblings at this early stage about whether he's truly committed to going the college route, doesn't leave me optimistic about his ability to make a big impact at DU.

dggoddard said...

Doubtful that Wrenn received a "career bump" by playing in the WHL.

Its pretty obvious that San Jose is not going to sign him and instead allow him to drift into Free Agency which is very rare for a second round draft pick.

In the meantime he missed out in graduating from DU and having a degree in his back pocket. Perhaps Portland paid him some money and if he doesn't play some form of professional hockey he is eligible for the CHL scholarship program.

Anonymous said...

The Spits were all over the the place in this year's draft; and I'm sure they'll remind Will of that over and over

Anonymous said...

Goodbye Will...

Anonymous said...

DU did lose a guy to major junior before ever enrolling at DU back about 10 years ago who had committed from the AJHL. His name is Ty Morris. He was a 4th round NHL draft pick but didn't pan out and has played in Europe for a number of years.

So, yes, there actually has been one.

du78 said...

Stepan Novotny went to Kelowna in 2008 after previoulsy signing an LOI with DU. DU wanted to defer him to 2009 as there wasn't room on the roster for him in 2008. He wanted to play regularly and thought playing in the WHL would help his draft stock. I think he is playing in Europe now as his WHL career was avearge and he was traded at least once.

Anonymous said...

So what about the Canadian Colleges? Do guys from like Regina, U of Calgary, UBC ever move into the Canadian major junior system?

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 10:48 -

Occasionally, but it's pretty rare. In fact, it usually works the other way.

The majority of a Canadian college team's roster is made up of former junior hockey players that either:

(a) "aged out" of juniors before getting drafted by an NHL club;
(b) got drafted but decided that they didn't want to spend a career in the bus leagues and decided to get an education instead; or
(c) flamed out in their first or second season of juniors and couldn't get picked up by another club.

This is why their rosters are littered with 23, 24, and sometimes even 25 year olds.

Anonymous said...

Players who play pro hockey (ECHL, Europe, AHL or even NHL) can also go back to Canadian University hockey and play at that level.

Nincompoop said...

I knew a guy in Texas in the 90's who fit that description exactly. Played for Sudbury, got cut from Sault St. Marie's OHL team, played a year at some university near Sudbury where he was taking classes. He quit school went to work with his Dad building houses. They eventually went bankrupt, so he heard about one of the USA's Western Professional Hockey League tryouts. He got hired by Fort Worth to play wing for about 4 years and was a pretty good player. He used to say he was too old for that shit - fistfights every night. His visa or green card eventually expired, so he gave up hockey, went back to Canada and knocked up some girl.

Anonymous said...

In unrelated news, it looks like our old North Dakota friend Chay Genoway could quite possibly be skating alot of shifts with Jason Zucker before too long. Genoway signed with the Wild last week. Once enemies, now blood brothers. Funny how that works out.