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College free agent Will Butcher signs with the Devils over the Golden Knights

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The potential Vegas target has decided to join New Jersey.

2017 NCAA Div I Men's Ice Hockey Championships Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Will Butcher to a two-year entry-level contract, the team announced Sunday.

After entering free agency a couple of weeks ago, the Vegas Golden Knights were one of the possible teams that were hoping to acquire the services of the 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner. The University of Denver star defensemen tallied 37 points in 43 games while serving as the captain last year.

Butcher, the 5-foot-10 defenseman, is coming off his best season and is thought of as someone who can make an impact on the scoresheet, as well as the ability to throw his body around defensively.

To go along with his Hobey Baker Award (the first defenseman to win the award in eight years), Butcher also had the most points as a defensemen on his team and carried them all the way to a NCAA championship.

Losing out on the Butcher sweepstakes wasn’t an end-all, be-all blow for the Golden Knights. They’re already stacked on the blue line, and adding Butcher would’ve just been a bonus. He’s going to get immediate playing time in New Jersey, and that’s probably what factored into his decision. He’s going to be fun to watch with the Devils.