Colorado Avalanche: 5 Memorable Moments for Prospect Cale Makar

AMHERST, MA - NOVEMBER 24: Cale Makar #16 of the Massachusetts Minutemen warms up before a game against the Princeton Tigers during NCAA hockey at the Mullins Center on November 24, 2018 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Minutemen won in overtime 3-2. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
AMHERST, MA - NOVEMBER 24: Cale Makar #16 of the Massachusetts Minutemen warms up before a game against the Princeton Tigers during NCAA hockey at the Mullins Center on November 24, 2018 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Minutemen won in overtime 3-2. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche’s fourth-overall draftee from 2017, Cale Makar, has been making waves in the NCAA circuit while playing for UMass.

“Colorado Avalanche prospect Cale Makar has won the Hobey Baker Award” — I’m sure I’ll be writing that sentence soon enough for this site. Our defensive prospect is having an excellent year with his UMass Minutemen.

Makar is hailed as the incoming savior of the Avalanche. I certainly hope so. Our playoff hopes for this season are getting dimmer and dimmer. At the time of writing, the Arizona Coyotes, of all teams, had taken over the second wild card spot and the Avs were getting pushed further down the standings. We need a savior.

Is that a lot of pressure to put on an incoming rookie? Yes. Is said rookie even incoming? Nothing’s guaranteed until he signs his name on the dotted line. (I think it’s solid, but whatever.) Nonetheless, our prospect has done some great things this season. Let’s look at some of his memorable moments from what we all hope is his final season with UMass.

Makar Earns 40 Points

On March 2, 2019, in the game against Maine, Cale Makar earned his 40th point, an assist, as a Minutemen. He finished the season with 42 points (13 goals, 29 assists) in 34 games.

With that 40th point, he became just the sixth Hockey East (not UMass alone) defenseman to do so since the 1999-2000 season. He was the first since 2001-02 to reach 30 points earlier in the season.

Makar Breaks UMass Record

As noted above, Cale Makar was one of the few defensemen in all of Hockey East Men’s Hockey, which covers 11 schools, to earn 40 points in a season. When Makar earned his 42nd point in the final game of the season, he took over UMass Hockey’s record for defenseman points in a single season:

In doing so, he surpassed UMass Hall of Famer Thomas Pöck, who recorded 41 points (16 goals, 25 assists) as a senior in 2003-04.

Makar Earns #1 Status on ESPN’s Top 50 NHL Prospects

Cale Makar is starting to get notice within the NHL, too. ESPN named him the #1 NHL prospect for the year. Chris Peters of ESPN NHL said this of Makar:

"“Of every drafted player I’ve watched this season, none has impressed me more than Makar. He is an elite skater with high-end puck skills, excellent distribution skills and adequate defensive play.”"

Ok, that last part isn’t exactly high praise. However, Peters went on to call Makar a “likely top-pairing stalwart.” He also pointed out that he has a serious impact on the Minutemen’s success, “the team goes as he goes.”

Cale Makar Finishes 2nd in 1st Round of Hobey Voting

The Hobey Baker Award is given to the top NCAA men’s hockey player. Recent winners have included Will Butcher (🤮), Jimmy Vesey, Jack Eichel, and Johnny Gaudreau.

So far, Makar has finished second overall in the voting, behind only Corey Mackin, a 23-year-old undrafted senior out of Ferris State University. (Remember, Cale is only 20).  Mackin, a forward, has only 25 points in 36 games, so, no shade to the young man, I’m not sure where the competition is.

Anyway, the second wave of voting starts on Mach 20 at 11 am MT. Vote here.

Cale Makar Does This

Blah-blah, Colorado Avalanche prospect Cale Makar broke records and gets recognition. Let’s get down to the good stuff — watching our top prospect in action (Watch #16):

Oh, yeah, that’s the stuff. Just shoot that directly into our veins.

Next. 4 College Free Agents for the Avs. dark

The expectation is that Cale Makar will sign with the Colorado Avalanche when the UMass Minutemen complete their post-season. I hope that’s the way it plays out, Avs Nation, because this is one special prospect.