Cale Makar, a sophomore defenseman for the University of Massachusetts and a Colorado Avalanche prospect, was selected on Thursday as one of three finalists for the 2018-19 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's top player. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 12 in Buffalo, New York, the site of the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four.
Selected in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft by the Avalanche, the Calgary, Alberta, native has recorded career highs this season in goals (16), assists (32) and points (48) while helping lead the Minutemen to the Frozen Four for the first time in program history. His point total is currently third among all NCAA skaters and first for college blueliners.
During a stellar 2018-19 campaign, Makar has registered 12 multi-point outings and set a career high with a seven-game point streak (five goals, seven assists) from Feb. 21 to March 16.
Makar's Hockey East Conference honors this season include being named the Player of the Year, a First-Team All-Star selection, Player of the Month in October and Player of the Week four times (Oct. 15, Oct. 22, March 18 and April 1).
In addition to his numerous honors on an individual level, the 20-year-old helped UMass to its best season in program history. The club has won 30 games this year, the most in school history, and captured its first-ever Hockey East regular season title. The Minutemen reached the Frozen Four for the first time after defeating Harvard and Notre Dame in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament last weekend, games in which Makar registered an assist and a goal, respectively.
The defenseman is the only underclassman among the final three skaters for the Hobey Baker Award, and he is the first UMass player to be named as a Hobey Hat Trick nominee in school history. Harvard's Adam Fox and St. Cloud State's Jimmy Schuldt are also finalists for the award.