CHICAGO, IL (June 23, 2017) – Brooks Bandits defenceman Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) has made history, after being selected fourth overall by the Colorado Avalanche at the 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Makar, 18, broke the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) record for highest drafted player, which was set by Joe Colborne of the Camrose Kodiaks when he was selected 16th overall by the Avalanche in 2008. He is the second-highest drafted player in Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) history, after Kyle Turris who went 3rd overall in 2007.
He is the first Brooks Bandit player to ever be selected directly from the team in an NHL Draft. His draft stock did nothing but rise throughout the season, beginning with his being named to the Futures List by NHL Central Scouting last summer, then a “B” prospect initially, then an “A” prospect later this past season, followed by a 10th-ranking among North American skaters in January, and a 9th-overall final ranking among North American skaters in April.
The 1998-born defenceman led all AJHL players at his position in scoring this past season with 75 points (24 goals, 51 assists), ranking sixth overall in league scoring and fifth in overall assists. He added 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) in 13 games as the Bandits captured the Gas Drive Cup as AJHL champions, then a further 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 5 games at the Western Canada Cup, also won by the Bandits for the first time in franchise history, and ranked second in scoring at the 2017 RBC Cup with 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) in 5 games.
The stellar season was also reflected in the plethora of awards Makar received, including the AJHL Top Defenceman award, AJHL Most Valuable Player, AJHL All-League Team, AJHL Playoff MVP, Western Canada Cup All-Tournament Team and Top Defenceman, and RBC Cup Top Defenceman and Most Valuable Player, the first player to ever be named RBC Cup MVP in back-to-back years.
Makar also became the first Bandit to ever win the CJHL Most Valuable Player Award, and the second Bandit ever to win the prestigious RBC National Junior A Player of the Year Award.
His rookie campaign with the Bandits in 2015-16 saw him record 55 points (10 goals, 45 assists) in 54 games, being named to the AJHL All-League and All-Rookie teams, winning AJHL and CJHL Rookie of the Year Awards, as well as the Western Canada Cup Top Defenceman Award, and the RBC Cup Top Defenceman, Top Scorer, and Most Valuable Player Awards.
In both of his AJHL seasons, he was selected by Hockey Canada to compete for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge, where he was named to the Tournament All-Star Team both years, winning a gold medal in 2015 and setting a tournament single-game record for points by a defenceman in 2016.
His Junior A career began in the 2015 playoffs as an affiliate player for the Bandits, after completing his minor hockey with the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association (NWCAA) Midget AAA Flames.
He is committed to attend and play for the University of Massachusetts beginning in the 2017-18 season.