Devils’ Will Butcher has historic debut against Avalanche

Will Butcher set up three power-play goals and the New Jersey Devils opened the season with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

All eyes were on Nico Hischier as the No. 1 draft pick skated on NHL ice for the first time on Saturday afternoon, but it was another rookie who stole the show in the New Jersey Devils‘ 4-1 season-opening win against the Colorado Avalanche.

Defenceman Will Butcher registered three assists, setting a franchise record in the process as the first player to tally three points in his pro debut.

All three helpers came on the power play—and against the team that drafted him back in 2013. (Salt, meet wound.)

Butcher’s name appeared in several off-season headlines as the hockey world waited to find out where he’d sign after opting to hit free agency instead of signing an entry-level deal with the Avalanche. The NCAA rearguard inked his two-year, $1.85-million deal with the Devils on Aug. 27—a big signing for a team stockpiling young talent.

The 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner had 30 assists in 43 games last season while leading the University of Denver to a national championship in April.

The Devils’ next game will be Monday against the Buffalo Sabres.