Former CJHL MVP Makar wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s Top Rookie

Photo credit: Tim Bates/Hockey Hall of Fame/OJHL Images

CALGARY, Alta. The National Hockey League announced Monday that former Canadian Junior Hockey League most valuable player and top defenceman award winner Cale Makar is the recipient of the Calder Trophy as its rookie of the year for the 2019-20 campaign.

The Colorado Avalanche blueliner earned the award over Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks and Dominik Kubalik of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Makar produced 50 points in 57 outings on 12 tallies and 38 assists, in his initial full season with the Avalanche, who selected him in the first round, fourth overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, Makar

His offensive numbers saw him pace all NHL rookies in point-per-game average at 0.88 while finishing second in scoring among first year skaters in offensive production just behind Hughes, who had 53 points in 68 games played.

In earning the Calder, Makar becomes the fifth alumnus of the CJHL alumni to garner NHL top rookie laurels in the past 25 years.

He joins fellow CJHL alums Andrew Raycroft (Wellington Dukes, OJHL) 2003-04; Barret Jackman (Trail Smoke Eaters, BCHL) 2002-03; Dany Heatley (Calgary Canucks, AJHL) 1998-99 and Scott Gomez (Surrey Eagles, BCHL)1999-2000 as winners of the Calder Trophy.

Starring for the Brooks Bandits (AJHL), Makar captured CJHL MVP and Top Defenceman honours back in 2017.

Among his other accolades include being selected the CJHL’s top rookie (2016), collecting two Royal Bank Cup now Centennial Cup) MVP honours (2016/2017), winning a gold medal with Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge (2015) and World Junior Hockey Championship gold for Canada (2018) as well as earning the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in all of U.S. college hockey (2019).

Of note, fellow Calder finalist Hughes had a very brief CJHL stint with the St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL) back in 2014-15.

Photo credit: Tim Bates/Hockey Hall of Fame/OJHL Images