The Avalanche selected NCAA-bound defenseman Cale Makar with the fourth pick in the first round of the NHL draft Friday.
Makar, 5-foot-11 and 187 pounds, is a standout Tier-II player for Brooks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He is committed to play hockey for Massachusetts-Amherst next season.
Scouts describe Makar, 18, as a flashy offensive-minded defenseman like Ottawa Senators’ star Erik Karlsson, the two-time Norris Trophy winner who was a finalist for the NHL defenseman-of-the-year award this past season. Makar, who is from Calgary, Alberta, has the ability to skate the puck the length of the ice and make the quick breakout passes from the defensive zone. In 54 regular-season games last year, he amassed 75 points (24 goals) in leading all AJHL defensemen in scoring.
Makar was the second defenseman selected Friday at the United Center in Chicago, following Miro Heiskanen at No. 3 to Dallas, and he is just the third defenseman selected by the Avs in the first round in the past 11 years.