Senators sign NCAA free agent Butler to 2-year deal Staff

3/29/2010 11:30:22 AM

The Ottawa Senators have taken a dip into the NCAA free agent pool and have signed University of New Hampshire forward Bobby Butler to a two-year contract.

"When I saw him play in the NCAA playoffs, he was a very good player, a very good college player," Senators general manager Bryan Murray told reporters.

The 22-year old Butler scored a NCAA a Division 1-leading 29 goals this season.  The Worchester Telegram is reporting that Butler will join the Senators in Washington on Monday and will remain with the team for the rest of the season.

"They were very interested and it seemed like it was a perfect fit for me," Butler told the Telegram. "It was probably the best opportunity for me to play right now. They said they really liked me and they could see me helping them in the future."

Butler enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at New Hampshire.  The Wildcats went 87-49-17 with him in the lineup.  The team also qualified for the NCAA Tournament all four seasons that he was enrolled at the school.  He is also a Top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Trophy this season.

Butler should compete for a roster spot with the Senators next season and could provide a secondary scoring punch from the wing.  The Devils, Penguins and Canucks were all reportedly in the running for his services.

"He'll need some time, but very definitely a guy that has the potential to be a goal-scorer in the National Hockey League," Murray said.