Avalanche sign UMass’ Makar for playoff series

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The Colorado Avalanche are hoping defenseman Cale Makar can do for them what he did for UMass this season.

The Avs signed the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner Sunday, and he’ll be a part of the crew instantly for its playoff sequence in opposition to the Calgary Flames.

Colorado tied the sequence 1-1 Saturday evening, whereas Makar, who’s from Calgary, Alberta, and the Minutemen have been dropping to Minnesota Duluth Three-Zero within the NCAA title recreation. Sport Three of Avs-Flames is about for Monday in Denver.

“I wish to be sure that he is in, rested, ready and targeted on what we’re doing right here now. Then we’ll decide on after we get him within the lineup,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar stated Sunday after the crew returned from Calgary. “It is undoubtedly an enormous step up from the school recreation, particularly whenever you’re leaping in midseries, in a heated playoff spherical, in opposition to such a very good opponent like Calgary. It is my job to verify I am placing him ready to succeed.”

Makar, 20, who accomplished his sophomore season, was the fourth total choose within the 2017 draft, the best choice in UMass historical past.

“I am very excited to start out the subsequent chapter of my hockey profession,” Makar stated in an announcement. “I can not wait to see what it has in retailer.”

Makar made loads of historical past this season. He led UMass to its first No. 1 rating, first Frozen 4 and was the primary defenseman to steer Hockey East in scoring, with 49 factors in 40 video games.

“He’s a game-changing sort of participant who made an enduring influence on the UMass hockey program,” Avs basic supervisor Joe Sakic stated in an announcement. “We’re excited to have him be a part of our crew.”

And probably insert him into the lineup. Makar’s soon-to-be-next project could possibly be this: Cease Johnny Gaudreau and the remainder of the high-flying Flames.

“He is an elite expertise and an actual particular participant,” Bednar stated. “So I’ve hopes he can are available and assist us on this sequence. If I stated there wasn’t any concern, I would most likely be mendacity. It will likely be one other stage that he is by no means performed at earlier than. However he does have lots of worldwide expertise. He is performed huge video games, performed a significant function for his or her crew going all the way in which to the championship recreation.”

After Saturday’s contest, Makar could not convey himself to take off his UMass sweater simply but and wore it to the interview podium.

“I am so very honored and humbled to place this jersey on each single recreation,” Makar stated. “Our observe jerseys as effectively. I am so lucky that I selected this college, underneath such an amazing employees.

“It is only a sense of delight now. As I touched on, we introduced a lot respect to this crest. This program is not a humiliation. Everyone can have a look at us as a program that is going to achieve success for years.”

Makar joins an Avalanche blue line that features Tyson Barrie, Ian Cole, Samuel Girard, Erik Johnson and Nikita Zadorov. Girard was banged up within the additional time victory Saturday and can bear additional analysis earlier than a choice is made on his standing.

Requested what Makar might convey to the lineup, Bednar stated: “Similar factor he did for his crew in faculty. He is a dynamic participant, clearly an elite skater, bodily concerned in each recreation I’ve watched. He is dynamic in the way in which he can assist you produce offense. He is bought an amazing shot, nice blue-line motion, energetic within the offensive zone. A few of the issues that made us a very good crew yesterday in Calgary, he can simply add to that.”

Data from The Related Press was used on this report.

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