Avalanche’s Cale Makar’s Time At UMass Set Him Up For NHL Success

'I felt like that second year would work wonders for me'

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June 15, 2022

Cale Makar is preparing to play in his first Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, and he has UMass to thank for his success at the NHL level.

The defenseman has the ability to be an X-factor in the Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He amassed 10 points in Colorado’s sweep of the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and has 22 total points through 14 playoff games.

Makar had a slew of success during his time at UMass, winning the Hobey Baker Award in 2019 and helped lead his team to its first Frozen Four tournament.

Makar, 23, knows he wouldn’t be in the position he is now had it not been for his time at UMass.

“For me, going into college, my goal was that two-year plan. Coming out of my first year there were talks about me coming to the Avalanche,” he told “NHL Tonight,” as transcribed by MassLive. “But overall I thought that there were aspects of my game that weren’t developed enough yet. Defensive aspects and stuff. I felt like that second year would work wonders for me.

“We were fortunate at UMass to have an incredible team and we made a very long run. I learned so much as a player on the ice and as a person off the ice. For kids growing up nowadays, It’s never a bad idea to be overripe going into a different league.”

Makar and the rest of the Avalanche look to stop the Lightning’s chances at a third consecutive Stanley Cup when the Final begins Wednesday. Puck drop for Game 1 is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images
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