Worcester – Former Olympian Bobby Butler of Marlborough, a 10-year professional who played for four NHL teams, will officially become the first director of hockey operations for the Junior Railers Hockey Club.
“I am very excited for this opportunity. Hockey has given me so much and I am looking forward to help grow the game in Central Mass.,” Butler said.
In his new role, Butler will be responsible for the direction, administration, management, supervision and marketing of all Junior Railers programs.
Last year, the Junior Railers had nearly 600 boys and girls on over 50 teams from mosquitoes (5-year-olds) through midgets (18-year-olds), competing at all levels (instructional, house, travel, select, elite).
Registration for the 2019-20 season is ongoing at www.juniorrailers.com.
“I was drawn to the setup of the Junior Railers,” Butler said. “I love how there are teams for all level of players. My young kids have started to learn the game and for them to be able to be a part of the same organization no matter their skill level, will allow them to develop and grow as people and players all while calling themselves a Railer!”
The Junior Railers HC has grown significantly over the last five years and two seasons ago began playing at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. The Junior Railers also play at Holy Cross, the DCU Center, Horgan Rink in Auburn and Buffone Rink in Worcester, as well as other Central Mass. rinks.
“We welcome Bobby to our team,” said Matt Wojnarowicz, president of the Junior Railers’ nine-member executive board, which conducted a national search to fill the position. “We look forward to working with him for years to come.”
Wojnarowicz expects Butler to further the organization’s growth and continue the positive momentum.
“People know Bobby as the Olympian, college star and NHL player, but we were just as impressed by him as a person,” he said. “He’s a true professional on and off the ice and we are excited for him to get to work with our players, coaches and parents.”
A former Hobey Baker Award finalist at the University of New Hampshire, Butler was a member of the United States Olympic team that competed in South Korea in 2018. He also helped Team USA win a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2013.
As a pro, he played for the Ottawa Senators from 2010-12, the New Jersey Devils from 2012-13, the Nashville Predators in 2013 and the Florida Panthers from 2013-15.
He played the past two seasons in the AHL with the Hartford Wolfpack and Milwaukee Admirals. Prior to that, he played in the Kontinental Hockey League and Swedish Elite League.
A three-time AHL All-Star and former All-Star Classic MVP, Butler was named the league’s Player of the Week and Rookie of the Month, set records for most playoff goals and points by a rookie, and helped Binghamton win the 2011 Calder Cup.
At the University of New Hampshire, Butler was named a first-team All-American, Walter Brown Award winner, Hockey East Player of the Year and a Hobey Baker Award finalist after totaling 29 goals and 24 assists and 53 points in just 39 games in 2010.
He graduated from UNH in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in health and human services, health management and policy.
A 2005 Marlborough High graduate, Butler led the Panthers, coached by his father, to the Division 3 state championship as a senior.
Off the ice, Butler has run his own hockey camps and clinics, and most recently served as director of player development for the Boston Junior Bruins where he played from 2002-06.