In a season where outstanding rookie defensemen made their mark, Cale Makar wins the Calder Trophy in a much-debated decision. The nominees have plenty to choose between them, and it couldn’t have been easy to limit the selections to three. Even here at LWOS, the nominations weren’t without their detractors, but Cale Makar, Quinn Hughes, and Dominik Kubalik are all excellent selections. One suspects the “losing” teams have no regrets about their players.
Cale Makar Wins The Calder Trophy
Leaving Their Mark
All three players made it to the playoffs, though only Makar did it without needing a play-in victory. In this unique season, fans had the added bonus of seeing all the nominees in the “second season.” Markets across the continent could check out for themselves what makes these three special, and they didn’t disappoint.
Meet Your Makar
Cale Makar has a lot further to go with the Colorado Avalanche, but Sandis Ozolinsh‘s All-Time place is hardly secure. Makar’s 4 goals and 15 points in 15 games – added to last year’s six points – already has him in fourth place. Like Hughes, he joins an up-and-coming team who should be in the playoffs for many more years. Unlike the Canucks’ quarterback, Makar has a nearly as dangerous partner in crime in Samuel Girard. They can be a dangerous combination for years to come. Makar is also a more exciting attacker, happily diving into any gap opposing defences give him. If the NHL ever brought back the rover position, it would be for Makar. You knew this was going to be a tight vote going between Makar and Hughes. On the season, Makar finished with 50 Points (12 goals and 38 assists) in 57 regular-season games.
Makar Wins Calder
The Calder Memorial Trophy has only gone to a defenseman twice in the last ten years – one of whom (Tyler Myers) currently plays for the Canucks. Indeed, until this year only five had been nominated since 2009-10. Given the hit-and-miss nature of the future of those nominees, it’s a bit of a surprise when anyone other than a forward takes it. Those doubts can be laid to rest with this year’s champion. Not only is Makar tried and tested, but he’s on an Avalanche team that should only get stronger. He’s going to be part of one of the top teams in the West, and that’s never a bad way to start a career.
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