By Carmen Dittoe – Silvertips Staff Writer
EVERETT, Wash. – There are few players in this age of hockey who fully embrace their role as protectors, defenders, and safe-keepers of the men on the ice with them. One specific member of the Everett Silvertips is willing to sacrifice anything at the drop of a hat to stand up for his teammates. It may be what he is known for, but it is not all he has to give.
Dawson Butt, a Buckley, Wash. native, is much more than meets the eye. At 6’00 and 200 pounds, he is known for his will to leave it all (gloves, helmet, stick, teeth, etc.) out on the ice. A rare breed of protector, he has no issue jumping to the aid of a teammate. In fact, he loves it.
“Honestly, I just really enjoy fighting. I absolutely hate seeing my teammates get pushed around out there,” explained Butt. “If I can do something about a guy who is making things tough for us, I’m going to do it. I love being able to have the backs of the boys on my team and being able to shift the momentum for us.”
Head coach Dennis Williams believes Butt’s fulfillment of this role made him invaluable to the team last season. No matter the circumstance, he was ready to go.
“[Butt] is the ultimate team player,” said Williams. “He accepted a role this past year that isn’t the most glamorous and doesn’t come with the most ice time. But, it’s just as important as any other role we’ve got.”
Teammate Riley Sutter also praised Butt in his readiness to do what few will. “He will stand up for any guy on our team in any situation. Not many players are willing to do that,” said Sutter. With three points (one goal, two assists) and 74 penalty minutes, Butt’s area of contribution was loud and clear.
However, while the right wing’s love for protecting what he cares about has defined him in the past, many believe he is ready to fill an even greater role both on and off the ice. While he is working towards contributing to his team in all aspects of the game next year, he is motivated to go above and beyond in the community as well.
“My goal is to set myself up to be a leader in the upcoming seasons,” said Butt. “I came up in this Pacific Northwest area of hockey. The WHL guys were always around, but there were few who wanted to invest in the city’s younger generation. I really looked up to those guys, so I want to be there for the kids in the community and be someone who loves and is loved around the city of Everett.”
If one did not know him well, they might not expect those words to come out of his mouth. However, his “closet maturity” is no secret to the ones he spends his days with.
“Dawson is one of the more mature guys on the team,” said Sutter. “It may not be super obvious, but he is always leading by example. He’s always working to keep the team together in a forward path.”
As for a greater on-ice impact, he is ready for that too. Sutter said he expects Butt to easily be a top-nine forward as a returning player, and veteran forward Matt Fonteyne believes Butt’s untapped potential is ready for action.
“Moving forward, Dawson has got a lot more skill to show than he’s had the chance to,” explained Fonteyne. “As he moves up in the lineup and gets a shot at more minutes, I think different aspects of his game will flourish and get brought to the table.”
After learning an incredible amount last season, Butt said he reflected on the year and realized that he wanted to contribute more. His head coach agrees, explaining that they look forward to seeing him move on and progress into a different role where he is an even larger factor in the program.
In an effort to bring his best to the table next season, Butt is training speed this summer.
“I’m really working on my feet and hands this offseason,” he explained. “Fast is hard to compete against. I’m also working on my shot, because you can never train that too much.”
The hard-hitting right shooter will make his return in the fall, ready to give the best of himself both on and off the ice.