NEWARK, NJ – OCTOBER 11: New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (8) skates during the first period of the National Hockey League Game between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals on October 11, 2018 , at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils dodged a bullet this week. The team has announced that defensemen Will Butcher avoided serious injury and will be back in the lineup tonight for their game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Butcher appeared to be injured after being checked into the board by Dallas Stars defensemen Roman Polak in the third period of Tuesday night’s game. Butcher didn’t return to the game after the hit. Many feared that he had suffered a serious forearm injury.

The fifth-round draft pick by the Avalanche in 2013 has scored five goals and 42 assists for 47 points in 85 career NHL games. His possession numbers are 54.2 percent Corsi with a relative Corsi of +7.5. He also had a goal and three assists for four points in five Stanley Cup Playoff games last season. Butcher was second on the Devils last year with 39 assists. Butcher was named to the NHL all-rookie team last season. He’s in the final year of his two-year entry-level contract.

The Devils are currently 4-0-0 and will look to build off their hot start. Butcher is currently playing on a pairing with Ben Lovejoy. Butcher is important to the Devils in helping their transition game at even strength and playing on the point of the power play. His offensive contribution from the backend is invaluable to the team and New Jersey should be happy to see him remain in the lineup. With the Devils facing the Avalanche tonight, it is an opportunity for Butcher to play against the team that drafted him, but he did not sign with after winning the Hobey Baker and National Championship in his final year at the University of Denver.

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