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Bandits sign AMHL all-star D Makar

BROOKS, AB (May 14, 2015) – The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) have signed 1998-born defenceman Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) for the 2015-16 season, the team announced today.

Makar, 16, was recently named one of two First Team All-Star defencemen for the 2014-15 campaign by the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League (AMHL), and was named Most Valuable Player of his Northwest Calgary Athletic Association (NWCAA) Midget AAA Flames team.

“Cale is a special talent and we are excited about the future of our defence,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “Our fans had a chance to see his game during the playoffs, where he played a big role in our South Division championship.”

“He possesses a tremendous offensive ability with a great stick which will be a big part of our power play moving forward.”

The 5’8”, 155lb defenceman led the Flames in scoring this past year, registering 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) in 34 league games. The year prior, he was the third-highest scoring player on the NWCAA Stampeders minor midget AAA squad, with 28 points (9 goals, 19 assists) in 36 games

He also joined the Bandits as an affiliate player late in the regular season, scoring three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his first-ever Junior A game on February 16th in a home game against the Olds Grizzlys, and adding two more assists in games against Okotoks and the Calgary Mustangs at the end of February.

Makar remained with the team as a key post-season contributor, playing in all 20 playoff games and adding another 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists), the third-most among Bandit blueliners. His goal was the game-winner in Game 1 of the team’s South Division semi-final against the Okotoks Oilers.

“The whole experience was awesome, from my billets to the incredible atmosphere and fan support in the Centennial Regional Arena,” said Makar. “The support I received from all the coaches was excellent and I'm truly excited about joining the Bandits next season and helping bring another championship to Brooks!”

“Cale’s commitment to our program is a step towards the NCAA,” coach Papaioannou added, “and we know he will be watched closely over the next few months.”

Makar is the fifth newly-committed player for the 2015-16 season that the Bandits have announced, joining 1996-born defenceman Ben Foley (Edina, MN), 1996-born forward Austin Wright (Niagara Falls, ON), 1996-born defenceman James Gobetz (St. James, NY), and 1997-born forward Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB).