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Sens sign college star Bobby Butler

The Ottawa Senators have signed free agent forward Bobby Butler to a two-year entry-level contract, general manager Bryan Murray announced yesterday.

The Ottawa Senators have signed free agent forward Bobby Butler to a two-year entry-level contract, general manager Bryan Murray announced yesterday.

The 22-year-old right winger’s collegiate career came to an end just on Saturday.

A Top 10 finalist for the 2010 Hobey Baker Award, which honours U.S. college hockey’s best player, Butler helped the University of New Hampshire Wildcats capture their eighth Hockey East regular-season title and qualify for the NCAA East Regional tournament for a ninth straight season.

Named the Wildcats’ co-captain in his final season, the six-foot, 185-pound Massachusetts native, who turns 23 on April 26, recorded 61 goals, 60 assists and 88 penalty minutes over his four-year 153-game collegiate career at New Hampshire. In 2009-10, he ranked third among Hockey East scorers with 53 points while leading the conference and the NCAA in goals.

He was awarded the Walter Brown Award, which is presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England, earlier this month.