According to TheAHL.com, New Jersey Devils forward Bobby Butler has been named CCM/AHL Player of the Week.
Butler scored six goals with one assist in three games last week and has 10 points on his current six-game point streak. He now leads to Albany Devils in goals with 10 and is second on the team in points with 15.
Butler's game has taken off since Adam Henrique went down with a thumb injury, and he has carried the Albany Devils to a 5-0-1 record in their last six showdowns. His performance of late is promising for a New Jersey Devils team that will be looking for a scorer once the lockout comes to an end.
New Jersey will start the season with a big hole on offense if the season starts in January. Henrique is expected to miss four to six weeks after surgery, and the Devils have already lost Alexei Ponikarovsky, Zach Parise and Petr Sykora to free agency.
Butler was signed based on potential; he only recorded 37 points in three seasons with the Ottawa Senators. The 25-year-old forward has primarily played in the minors and has only played a combined 94 games since coming into the NHL. If he keeps up this type of play, he will have no problem securing a roster spot this year.
While Butler won't make up for the combined 59 goals lost to free agency, if he can become a 20-goal scorer and a top-six forward, the Devils will be able to make significant steps forward this season. He has undoubtedly become one of the best offensive weapons on the AHL, but it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to a shortened season and NHL competition.
It is obvious that playing teams like the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers is a lot different than the Connecticut Whale and Providence Bruins, but Butler has shown the consistency and skill necessary for top-flight hockey.
If the young forward can continue his success once the lockout comes to an end, the Devils will have one of the best underrated signings of the offseason.
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