BUFFALO -- Cale Makar won the Hobey Baker Award on Friday.
The Colorado Avalanche defenseman prospect from the University of Massachusetts was voted the top men's player in NCAA ice hockey this season.
"It's definitely not something that I thought could happen in the two years (I've been here)," the 20-year-old said. "It's very special. I'm very honored to accept an award like this, and honestly it could have gone to any of the top 10 candidates. I'm very fortunate they selected me."
The other finalists were Adam Fox, a Carolina Hurricanes defenseman prospect from Harvard; and Jimmy Schuldt, a Vegas Golden Knights defenseman prospect from St. Cloud State.
Makar, a 20-year-old right-handed shot, was chosen by the Avalanche in the first round (No. 4) of the 2017 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound sophomore has 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists) in 39 games. Massachusetts will play for the NCAA championship against Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday, and Makar could join the Avalanche for the Stanley Cup Playoffs after that.
"Obviously you can't ask for a much better way to end a college career at a national championship and hopefully hoisting a trophy," he said. "After that, we'll see what happens, but everything's kind of up in the air right now."
Fox, a 5-foot-11, 181-pound right-handed shot, was acquired by the Hurricanes, along with defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Micheal Ferland, from the Calgary Flames in a trade for defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm on June 23. Fox, a 21-year-old junior, had 48 points (nine goals, 39 assists) in 33 games and was named Ivy League Player of the Year.
Schuldt (6-1, 205), a 23-year-old left-handed shot, had 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists) in 39 games. The only repeat Hobey Baker finalist, Schuldt was the all-time leader among St. Cloud State defensemen with 116 points (38 goals, 78 assists).