Cale Makar's Colossal Season Continues With Colorado

After leading the UMass Minutemen to a historic season, defenseman Cale Makar signed an entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche, prepping him for imminent action in Colorado’s playoff series with the Calgary Flames.

Nearly two years ago, the Avalanche held an 18 percent chance at winning the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery following a franchise worst 22-56-4 record, but ultimately fell the maximum three spots, leaving them with the fourth overall selection.

The Avalanche used that pick to draft Makar, whose development hardly suggests him as any type of consolation prize. He has has matured quickly with the NCAA’s Minutemen and chose to forgo his last two seasons with UMass.

The sophomore led all NCAA defensemen in scoring and finished third in the nation with 49 points (16 G, 33 A) in 41 games, while his plus-32 rating placed him second.

The Calgary native led the Minutemen to a series of firsts in 2018-19, where their 31-10 record earned the program its first-ever Frozen Four appearance and a crack at defending champ Minnesota Duluth, which proved to be the only team that could stop Makar and the Minutemen in the championship game.

Makar’s incredible season saw him crowned Hockey East Player of the Year, First Team All-American, and winner of the Hobey Baker Award.

“He is a game-changing type of player who made a lasting impact on the UMass hockey program,” Avalance general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement Sunday. “We are excited to have him join our team.”

There’s little doubt about the 20-year-old’s ability to transition to the NHL, where he’ll likely get an immediate look in Monday’s Game 3 against regular season Western Conference champion Calgary.

Makar’s smooth-skating, fast-paced mentality has made him an offensive stud in college and there’s been virtually no tradeoff in his own zone, as his two-way dependability remains high.

He spent the season with all eyes on him and rose to the occasion. Now, in the 1-1 series, Makar will get a chance to showcase the brightness of Colorado’s defensive future in front of the home crowd. 

Don’t miss Makar’s NHL debut Monday night in Colorado, when the Avalanche take on the Flames in Game 3 at 10 PM CT on CNBC.

Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.

Hockey East's Biggest NHL Prospects

Hockey East featured six first-round, NHL Draft picks last season, including Hobey Baker winner Cale Makar, who joined the Colorado Avalanche for their playoff run just days after leading UMass to the National Championship game. 

Minnesota State's Marc Michaelis Reflects On IIHF World Championships

Minnesota State captain Marc Michaelis opened last month’s IIHF World Championships in street clothes. While his German countrymen were racking up wins against the lesser hockey nations from Group A, he was in the press box gnashing his teeth.

More Ways To Watch FloHockey


Never Miss A Moment

No Home Ice Advantage, Blues Take Home Stanley Cup

BOSTON – The “championship drought” continues for the city of Boston.

Most Impactful Moments Of The Stanley Cup

Forty-nine years after being swept by the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, the St. Louis Blues got their revenge with a 5-1, Game 7 victory.

The Shot Of A Lifetime

It was the shot of a lifetime. Certainly Ray Lussier’s lifetime. 

Huge Crowd, Big Blues Letdown

ST. LOUIS – “Sellout crowd” would be an understatement at Enterprise Center on Sunday night.

Suitors Aplenty For Winnipeg Jets' Jacob Trouba

Last week I highlighted Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba as an NHL star on the trade block this summer and suitors should be lining up for his services.

No Overshadowing Zdeno Chara's Night

It was supposed to be a modern-day Willis Reed moment.

Carvel And Makar, The Farewell Address

There was pressure on UMass head coach Greg Carvel to produce. It was the Hobey Baker Banquet, a month after the Hobey Baker Award, and everyone in the room wanted to hear something they didn’t already know about college hockey’s generational star.