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Avalanche Cale Makar: The Best Defenseman Since Bobby Orr?

The Colorado Avalanche 23-year-old Cale Makar is getting better every season. Is he the best NHL defenseman since Bobby Orr?

In this edition of NHL Quick Hits, I’m going to take a quick look at the Colorado Avalanche’s great young defenseman Cale Makar. One former NHL defenseman suggested to Kelly Hrudy that Makar was the best defenseman since Bobby Orr. Could that possibly be correct? Is he that good?

Related: Quick Hits Around the NHL: Jay Woodcroft, Kris Letang & Brayden Point

Cale Makar Quickly Gaining Reputation as Great Defenseman

Calgary, Alberta, native Cale Makar has played three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and each season he’s been getting better and better. This past regular season he’s scored 28 goals and added 58 assists (for 86 points) – and that’s very good. But it’s what he’s done in the postseason that’s been really impressive.

Cale Makar Colorado Avalanche Upper Deck
Cale Makar Colorado Avalanche Upper Deck

Perhaps that is because Makar isn’t seen that much on Canadian television because he’s playing in Denver, and the Avalanche as a team doesn’t get much play on Hockey Night in Canada. But, he’s surely impressed the HNIC panel during the series with the Edmonton Oilers. The Avalanche swept the Oilers in four-straight games, and Makar was front-and-center in that victory.

Makar’s Series Against the Oilers Is a Tiny Payback for Flames’ Fans

That must make Calgary Flames’ fans happy, given the Oilers beat out their home team in Round 2 of the playoffs in five games. Now, one of their hometown lads helped to beat out their arch-rival Oilers and this season’s winner of the Battle of Alberta.

During this postseason, Makar scored 22 points (with five goals and 17 assists) in 14 games. That leads the Avalanche in points. However, to those fans who’ve watched him play, it’s no surprise. He’s that offensively dominating. In fact, Kelly Hrudy noted that a former NHL defenseman messaged him to say that Makar is the best NHL defenseman since Bobby Orr.

Related: David Pastrnak Trade a Real Possibility, Says Bruins Source

Makar Has Played a Great 200-Foot Game this Postseason

During the Oilers’ series, Makar was tasked with hounding the best player in the world right now – Connor McDavid. He did well. In fact, Makar’s work at both ends of the ice helped propel his team to the Stanley Cup Final. On the offensive side, he’s one of only three defensemen in NHL history to have posted at least five three-point efforts during a single postseason.

Makar Has Another Series to Play, Where Will This End

With the Tampa Bay Lightning winning Game 5 to take a three-game to two lead over the New York Rangers, it looks as if Makar might have a chance to face of the NHL’s elite goalies in Andrei Vasilevskiy. He’ll have another full series to add to his scoring total during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Should the Avalanche win the Finals, there’s a good chance Makar will win the Conn Smythe trophy as the Stanley Cup’s MVP. What a feat for a 23-year-old. No surprise, he’s that good.

Related: Edmonton Oilers 2022 Playoff Story: Amazing, Just Not Good Enough

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