Colorado Avalanche defenceman Cale Makar has been making a name for himself with his dazzling play in the Queen City of the Plains and now he’s been named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November.
In 14 games last month, the 21-year-old from Calgary collected seven goals and 16 points to lead all rookies. He also had three game-winning goals and led all rookies in average ice time with 21:25 a game.
Makar is just the fifth rookie blueliner in league history to score seven or more goals in a month. He’s the first since Brian Leetch to do so. And, for more trivia, he’s the first rookie defenceman since Alexei Zhitnik to produce 16 or more points in a calendar month.
That’s pretty good company.
Makar is atop the rookie leaderboard this season with 26 points in 26 games. He’s a plus-10 with 49 shots on goal.
Early wisdom has Makar as a likely choice for the NHL’s Calder Trophy, but there are those willing to put him in contention for the Norris Trophy as well. That may be a touch premature, but the case is somewhat convincing.
Right now, John Carlson is the frontrunner as the league’s best defenceman. The Washington Capital has, as of press time 37 points in 28 games – including eight goals. He boasts an amazing 10.3 shooting percent. He’s also well on pace for a career-defining year.
Dougie Hamilton is also in the Norris conversation. The Carolina Hurricanes defenceman has 28 points in 27 games as of press time.
But right behind those two is Makar, who’s making the history books along the way.
In fact, he’s got the fourth-most points by any NHL defenceman through his first 26 regular season games. That puts him behind luminaries like Harry Cameron, Larry Murphy and Hap Day.
The 16-8-2 Avalanche are coming off a blistering 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday. They have a few days off before gearing up for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday and the Montreal Canadiens Thursday.
Photo credit: Jack Dempsey/Associated Press