Sens Go Back To University
Bryan Murray once again dipped into the collegiate ranks to acquire undrafted talent and by all reports scooped a player out from underneath the Leafs in the process.
This has been on going for a few weeks now, with unsubstantiated reports coming out of both the Sens and Leafs camps about a bidding war for the services of young UNH forward Bobby Butler. It seems Murray beat Burke to the punch. Many believed the Leafs had the inside track with Butler playing along side Phil Kessel’s younger brother. Guess not. Many regarded Butler to be the #1 undrafted prospect available, so this is quite the get for the Sens.
Eyebrows were raised with the recent trading away of two 2nd round picks, but it would seem Murray may well have known Butler was in his pocket, making at least one of those picks expendable. With this signing Murrays recent trades can now be considered Sutton and Cullen for a 2nd and Pickard…one hell of a good deal, IMO.
Butler, a 22 yr. old, 6′-0″, 185 lb RW, and MASS native, was recently named the Hockey East Player of the Year (Best NCAA Div. 1 player in New England), while captaining his team to the Hockey East title. Known as a solid team leader, prolific scorer, reliable 2-way player and good academic, it is hoped Butler can inject some further depth into the organization for next season, as he will be ineligible to play in this years play offs.
Here’s what UNH coach Dick Umile, who himself was named Hockey East Coach of the Year, had to say about why Butler has had such success this season;
“I just think it’s his work ethic…It’s not by accident that he scores goals. He’s picked up his skating, he’s gotten stronger, he’s quicker out there, his shot … he’s got a pro shot, with a great release. He’s playing at a very high pace, a high level, and he can maintain it. He does the little things before practice, after practice, and it’s nice to see him being rewarded for his hard work…You want your captain to be your hardest worker, to lead by example, and no question he does that.”
Expect to see Bobby get some ice time before the close of the regular season, possibly as early as Tuesday versus the Caps. He is expected to be at practice as soon as tomorrow.
Next on the wish list is Wiercioch. Now that UD has been eliminated from the NCAA finals, some expect to see Patrick signed soon, and continuing his playing time in Binghamton…although mid season reports indicated Weircioch intends to return to UD next season.
With the recently penned Jared Cowen’s Spokane Cheifs now down 3-2 in their WHL play-off series with the Winterhawks, will the Sens have a full press box come April?
Time will tell.