Weight: 202 Pounds
Date of birth: June 9, 2002
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Position: Right Wing
OHL Draft: Round 2, 27th overall, 2018 Priority Selection – Peterborough Petes
NHL Central Scouting Rankings
|C Prospect||C Prospect||100 N.A.||
Cameron Butler played two seasons of Minor Midget AAA with the York Simcoe Express. The first season was 2016-2017 where Cameron would score 21 goals and 21 assists in 25 games and another 6 goals and a helper in 7 playoff games.
The following season, Butler would return to the Express. In 34 games, he scored 27 goals and 30 assists. In the playoffs Butler added 3 goals and 4 assists and helping the Express win the OMHA Championship. He added 6 goals and 2 assists in 6 OHL Cup games and 3 goals and 2 helpers in 4 OHL Gold Cup games en route to capturing bronze with Team OMHA Black.
The Peterborough Petes would select Butler with the 27th overall pick at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. Here’s what OHL Central Scouting had to say:
Cameron is a typical power forward that uses his size to his advantage. He is a powerful skater with a nice long stride. He has a good skill set for a player of his stature with the ability to make plays in tight areas. He can beat defenders one-on-one when he has the chance. He is used on the point on the power play at times because of his very heavy and accurate shot. He isn’t afraid to shoot the puck and he will put it on net from anywhere. Cameron is relied on to play in all the big situations.
The 2018-2019 season saw Butler make his OHL debut with the Petes. He scored 18 goals in 64 games, fifth among rookies and it would appear that he began cementing his reputation as a power forward who could score.
Butler began this season with the Petes. In 39 games with the marron and white, Butler scored 12 goals and 7 assists on a squad expected to make some noise until the season was ended by the COVID-10 Pandemic. But on January 9, 2020, the Petes shipped Butler, along with 4 draft picks to the Niagara IceDogs for Akil Thomas in a bid to make that run.
Going from a top-5 team to one of the bottom feeders in the OHL isn’t always the best-case scenario for a player in his draft year. But for Butler, going to a young and rebuilding team like Niagara afforded him the opportunity for more quality minutes that wasn’t going to happen in Peterborough.
The 17 games Butler appeared in for the IceDogs didn’t affect his point production in either direction as he finished with the same .48 points-per-game as he had in Peterborough on 6 goals and 7 assists. What took a big hit was his plus/minus dropping from a minus-5 to a minus-40 after the trade. On a team that finished the year minus-126, that was to be expected.
While the game today is mostly played around skill and speed, there will always be room for that big bodied power forward who is not only willing to throw his weight around, but can skate. And Butler can skate for a 6’4” 200-pound-plus player. His first steps generate a lot of power and he gets to top speed quickly – not a burner, but above average. Once he gets those long, powerful strides going and with his strength he is virtually impossible to stop one-on-one. At least, he has shown that ability on multiple occasions and now it becomes a case of doing it regularly.
Today’s game also requires the ability to play east-west and not just north-south. Butler is a north-south player who wants to attack straight ahead. But he has shown some flashes of being able to adjust. He can make plays, sees the ice well and actually has some decent playmaking abilities. Yet, he is still such a raw player, it’s hard to say whether he will continue to develop those skills while working on other areas of his game and find consistency.
Personally, I would take a late round chance on him in hopes that he can develop.