Colorado Avalanche rookie defenseman Cale Makar has wowed the world with his play this season.
More from Mile High Sticking
The Colorado Avalanche may be looking at a return to play soon. After more than two months with the NHL season on pause in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league and NHLPA are trying to solidify scenarios to finish the season.
Those scenarios no longer include any resumption of the regular season. So, it looks like the stats a player accumulated prior to the pause will be his stats for the year.
That’s not too shabby for today’s pre-hockey hiatus player, Cale Makar.
During the hockey hiatus, we’ve been evaluating how players were doing before the NHL season was put on pause. With hockey’s return seeming more imminent, it’s time to finish up with these evaluations.
So far, here are some of the players we’ve already considered:
Today we’re looking at our superstud rookie, Cale Makar.
Brief History of Cale Makar
Cale Makar was the Avalanche’s consolation prize for first enduring the worst record in the salary cap era and then losing the draft lottery. And a heck of a consolation prize he turned out to be — I wouldn’t trade him for the three players who went before him in the 2017 NHL Draft. (Nico Hischier, Nolan Patrick, Miro Heiskenan).
Makar had already committed to the University of Massachussetts to play hockey in the NCAA. He spent two years there putting their hockey program on the map. In his second year, he took the Minutemen all the way to the Frozen Four, where they’d never been, and the Championship Finals! He also won the Hobey Baker Award for best college hockey player.
The day after he played in the NCAA Finals, he signed his professional contract with the Colorado Avalanche and came out to Colorado. (He may have flown out then signed — same difference.) The following day, he debuted in his first NHL game — in the playoffs! And he earned his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot about 15 minutes into his NHL career.
Here’s the goal:
My favorite part of watching the celebration is captain Gabriel Landeskog grabbing him in a bear hug before he can skate away like Nathan MacKinnon did after his first NHL goal.
Cale Makar Stats with the Colorado Avalanche
In his debut, Cale Makar played in 10 playoff games. He earned the above goal and five assists for a total of six points.
This season, Makar has played 57 games with the Avalanche, having missed 13 because of injury. He’s nonetheless broken records for rookie defensemen in franchise history, including for goals scored and total points. He has a total of 12 goals and 38 assists for 50 points.
He’s a heavy favorite to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
Evaluation of Cale Makar with the Colorado Avalanche
He’s a stud. There’s no other possible evaluation of Cale Makar with the Colorado Avalanche.
He is absolutely ridiculous in how he skates. Even his defensive partner, Ryan Graves, is in awe of him, calling his signature move a “little shimmy.” This is just his first year in the NHL, and you can already see what a superstar Makar is going to be.
No shade to the three players who went before him. All three are great players and, from what I can tell, good people. But Cale Makar has become the future of our team.
I think he might even serve as the captain one day. We really lucked out when we lost the draft lottery that year.