DURHAM, N.H. -- Senior Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team has signed an NHL contract with the Ottawa Senators and is expected to stay with the club for the final six games of the regular season and could be in the lineup as early as Thursday when the team hosts the Carolina Hurricanes.

Butler was the 2010 Hockey East Player of the Year, 2010 Walter Brown Award winner, Hockey East All Star First Team, Hockey East Scoring Champion, Hockey East Three Stars Award winner and a Hobey Baker Top 10 finalist. Butler enjoyed not only his best season as a Wildcat, but also arguably the greatest season by any Wildcat forward in recent history. Butler ranks first in the nation in goals with 29 and is tied for second nationally in points with 53. Butler finished second in goals per game at 0.74, fifth in points per game (1.36 ppg), 10th in short-handed goals (2) and 19th in game winners (4). The co-captain, as voted by his teammates, has been even better among Hockey East’s elite, ranking first overall in goals, third in points, seventh in power play goals, second in short-handed goals and third in game-winning tallies. In conference play, Butler finished first in points (41) and goals (21), and sixth in assists (20). He becomes the first player in Hockey East to register 20 goals and 20 assists in league play since 1999 Hobey Baker winner Jason Krog of New Hampshire. Butler was one of just six male position players selected to represent the East Squad at the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge. He was also a 2010 Hockey Humanitarian nominee for his efforts off the ice in the greater Durham community.

Butler and the Wildcats finished with an 18-14-7 overall record and qualified for the NCAA’s for the ninth-consecutive season. The team captured its third Hockey East regular season title in the last four years and advanced to the NCAA regional finals for the second-consecutive season.

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