New Jersey Devils defenceman Will Butcher will be out for the remainder of he season after having surgery last week to repair ruptured ligaments in his right thumb.

Butcher sustained the injury in the first period of a 3-0 loss against the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 18 and has not played since. His recovery is expected to be three to four months.

"It's not an easy loss. We tried to heighten his role this year and give him more minutes, so it would have been good for him to get back this season in an elevated role," coach Alain Nasreddine said. "But unfortunately, it's a big injury and we're not going to have him for the rest of the season." 

He has 21 points in 56 games this season for the Devils.