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Makar Named Rookie of the Month for November

Avalanche defenseman led all first-year players in scoring with 16 points in the month

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has been named the NHL's rookie of the month for November, the league announced on Sunday.

Makar led all rookies in scoring during the month after totaling 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 14 games. The 16 points were the most in a month by a rookie defenseman in franchise history--breaking Pierre Lacroix's record of 12 set in March 1980--and were tied for the fifth most in any month by a blueliner in the Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques annals.

Overall, Makar's 16 points were the third-most in the month of November by an NHL rookie D-man (Larry Murphy, 18, 1980; Nicklas Lidstrom, 17, 1991) and was the highest total by a rookie rear guard in any month since Alexei Zhitnik had 19 in March 1993 with the Los Angeles Kings.

In addition, Makar's seven tallies were the most among first-year players in November and were tied for the third-most by a rookie blueliner in a month in NHL history. Only Barry Beck (10, December 1977) and Harry Cameron (eight, December 1917) had more. The last NHL rookie rear guard to record seven goals in a month was Brian Leetch in January 1989 with the New York Rangers.

Video: COL@WPG: Makar dangles past defender and scores

In franchise history, Makar's seven goals were tied for the highest by a defenseman in a month, joining Rob Blake (March 2003), Ray Bourque (March 2000) and Sandis Ozolinsh (December 1999).

Makar had two outings this month that he found the back of the net twice, scoring twice on Nov. 9 versus Columbus and Nov. 21 at the Minnesota Wild. He is just the second Avalanche/Nordiques rookie defenseman to record two multi-goal games in a season (Pierre Lacroix, 1979-80).

Video: CBJ@COL: Makar slips shot five-hole for second goal

The Calgary, Alberta, native's three game-winning goals (Nov. 9 vs. Columbus, Nov. 12 at Winnipeg and Nov. 29 at Chicago) were the most by any first-year blueliner within a single calendar month in NHL history. He also led all league rookies this past month in plus/minus rating (plus-10) and average ice time (21:25).

He recorded his first three-point outing in the Avs' 9-4 win versus the Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center on Nov. 9. His three-point performance tied the single-game Avalanche record for a rookie defenseman, a mark set by Kevin Shattenkirk on Nov. 27, 2010 versus the Minnesota Wild. 

Video: NSH@COL: Makar stakes Avalanche to early lead

Makar also registered his first four-point performance with four assists in Colorado's 5-4 overtime victory at the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 16. The 21-year-old's four helpers set a single-game franchise rookie record in assists and matched the record in points (Jeff Brown with Quebec on Oct. 13, 1986 versus Vancouver).

He was the first rookie to hit the 20-point mark this year when he eclipsed it in the outing, becoming the fourth defensemen in NHL history to be the first first-year player to reach 20 points. The others were Nicklas Lidstrom (22 GP with Detroit in 1991-92), Bobby Orr (33 GP with Boston in 1966-67) and Hap Day (18 GP with Toronto St. Pats in 1924-25).

This is the sixth time, and first in more than seven years, that the Avalanche has had a player be named rookie of the month. Gabriel Landeskog was the last player to earn the honors in February 2012. Makar is the first Colorado defenseman to pick up the award.

Makar leads all rookies in scoring after the first two months of the season with 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 26 games. It is the fourth-most points by any defenseman through his first 26 career regular-season games, behind only Harry Cameron (36 in 1917-19 with Toronto Arenas), Larry Murphy (29 in 1980-81 with Los Angeles Kings) and Hap Day (27 in 1924-25 with Toronto St. Pats).

 

In October, Makar finished tied for the rookie scoring lead with 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 12 games and had the highest points-per-game average among first-year players (0.83) that played in at least six games.

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