Another year, another battle of the rookies. New Jersey has 2019’s top prospect Jack Hughes… but the Colorado Avalanche have Cale Makar.
This year’s rookie generation is looking quite promising. According to NBC’s power ranking, New York Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko is #1 on the list, followed by New Jersey Devils’ Jack Hughes. They are skilled, young, and are bringing big hopes to their respective teams, but we’re actually more interested on the player sitting at #3: Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar. You know, one of our youngest kids.
Makar made the jump from college to the NHL without fear and arrived in time for the playoffs. A truly fearless man, he scored his first NHL goal (which totally, completely, absolutely counts, no matter what others say) on his first game, ending up with a total of six points (one goal, five assists) in 10 games played. And he’s only getting started.
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Surely, many other players have scored their first NHL goal in their first game, but Makar made his debut during the playoffs, arguably the toughest time of the year (and I say “arguably” because playoff push is wild too), and he was outstanding. It’s no surprise, then, that he skipped development camp this year and already has a spot in the team. Better yet, he has a place as top player.
Coach Bednar has placed him on the top-paring, and with Tyson Barrie gone (but not forgotten), all hope relies on Makar and our other superstar defenseman: Sam Girard. Bednar also has plans for Makar on PP1 (again, replacing Barrie), only making his highly anticipated first NHL season more exciting.
It might not be that exciting for other teams as they will have to deal with him, but to Avs’ fans it gives a lot of hope for not only a deep playoff run (fingers crossed) but an overall successful regular season.
People love talking Calder Trophy odds before the season begins, and Cale Makar is obviously included (some have even called him the “dark horse” for Rookie of the Year. Outrageous, really). And while it would be exciting to see him win it, his first NHL season shouldn’t be built around Calder Trophy hopes.
Let the kid enjoy the ride. Not all players can brag about jumping straight into professional hockey after college. And lucky us, the Colorado Avalanche get to witness Makar’s rookie season and his development through it, as well as how his performance influences the rest of the team. That’s probably the most exciting part.
Hockey season is almost here! The Colorado Avalanche will kickstart the season at home against (drum roll, please) the Calgary Flames on September 3. Get ready, it’s going to be a good one.