After signing Dougie Hamilton to a massive contract, the New Jersey Devils have cleared out some cap space from the defensive unit. The Devils have traded Will Butcher and a 2022 fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres. The Devils will receive future considerations.

Butcher, 26, is signed through only the 2021-22 season but carries a $3.7MM cap hit that had become cumbersome for the Devils. The former University of Denver star is a great playmaker and can rack up points on the powerplay, but just isn’t a strong enough skater or physical enough to make up for it. His defensive game has always been a struggle, but it was only magnified as the Devils lost some of their other responsible options. With Hamilton signing and Ryan Graves acquired from the Colorado Avalanche, there was simply no more room for Butcher in New Jersey.