With the Hobey Baker now on his mantlepiece, Cale Makar has his sights set on profitable a nationwide championship with UMass. After that? It is off to the Avalanche for the top-ranked prospect in The Hockey Information’ Future Watch version.Cale Makar|Richard T Gagnon/Getty ImagesBUFFALO – Recent off being named winner of the Hobey Baker Award as essentially the most excellent participant in U.S. school hockey, Cale Makar is able to exit and win a nationwide championship, then signal and play within the playoffs with the Colorado Avalanche, in that order.
He’ll have the chance to perform the primary one Saturday night time when his UMass Minutemen face the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs within the Frozen 4 championship recreation. And there’s an excellent probability – just about a slam-dunk, truly – that shortly after that recreation, Makar might be on his technique to be part of the Avalanche for Recreation Three of their first-round playoff sequence towards the Calgary Flames.
“Hopefully I’ll be becoming a member of the Avalanche,” Makar mentioned after accepting the award Friday night time. “You by no means know. Clearly it’s what (the Avalanche) need and we’ve communicated and stuff, however there’s not a lot on the desk proper now as a consequence of the truth that we’re nonetheless taking part in.”
If and when Makar indicators, he’ll be eligible to play for the Avalanche instantly. And whereas signing this yr will burn a yr of his entry-level deal, it won’t depend as an accrued season so far as free company is anxious.
It’s a really actual danger for the Avalanche, who will lose a yr on Makar’s entry-level deal and will have him of their lineup for under a handful of video games. And extra importantly, as a result of he’ll have accomplished his third yr within the league as soon as the Seattle growth franchise begins taking part in in 2021, the Avalanche must defend him within the growth draft. And as soon as the Avalanche are eradicated, Makar can’t be despatched right down to the Avalanche’s AHL group for its playoff run. Ideally, the Avs in all probability would favor to signal Makar to an expert tryout contract and put him with the Colorado Eagles for the remainder of this season, however Makar has no real interest in doing that and would as a substitute keep in class and end the tutorial yr if the NHL weren’t an possibility.
So far as the championship recreation is anxious, Makar might be trying to have a big effect on the proceedings. Despite the fact that he had an help within the Minutemen’s Four-Three extra time win over Denver Thursday night time, UMass coach Greg Carvel is anticipating extra from him within the championship recreation.
“That was truly a reasonably bizarre recreation for him,” Carvel mentioned. “I count on tomorrow we’ll see some fireworks. Fairly quiet recreation from him, truly.”
“It is going to be one thing that I’ll must convey,” Makar mentioned of the ultimate. “You’re not a hockey participant for those who can’t stand up for these large moments. It’ll be an thrilling one.”
Makar was something however quiet this season after turning down overtures from the Avalanche to signal after his freshman season. With 16 targets and 49 factors, he led all defensemen, together with fellow Hobey Baker finalists Adam Fox of Harvard (Carolina Hurricanes property) and Jimmy Schuldt (Vegas Golden Knights). There was little question in Carvel’s thoughts that the Hobey Baker choice committee obtained this one proper. “He’s so deserving in each approach,” Carvel mentioned. “On the ice, no one got here near him this yr. His skating capacity separates him from all people else.”
For his half, Makar is trying to replicate the success he had in Buffalo slightly greater than 15 months in the past. The KeyBank Middle has been superb to him, contemplating that’s the place he helped lead Canada to the World Junior Championship in 2018. Makar led all defensemen in scoring within the event with three targets and eight factors in seven video games and earned a berth on the all-tournament group.
“It was a reasonably bizarre feeling coming again,” Makar mentioned. “We’re in the identical dressing room we had for the World Juniors. I stepped on the bench and I assumed, ‘Man, the final time I stepped off this bench, I had a gold medal round my neck.’ It’s even giving me chills proper now.”
Need extra in-depth options, evaluation and an All-Entry move to the newest content material? Subscribe to The Hockey Information journal.Tags: colorado avalanche, NCAA, prospectsConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. Evidently, it did not work out.