Last night, Colorado Avalanche prospect Cale Makar spoke to NHL Network. The fourth overall selection in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft touched on everything from how he felt on draft day, to how long he expects to be in the NCAA before he’s ready for the NHL.
Here are some of the highlights from his discussion.
When asked how he felt on what was undoubtedly one of the most exciting days of his life:
It was a very exciting moment. It’s kind of tough that day, your heart is pounding all day, you’re very anxious and at the same time very nervous. It was a really cool experience for me and my family to have my name called at an event like that.
After turning himself into one of the best defensive prospects in hockey, Makar was asked about what has been most important so far in his hockey development:
One of my goals is just to get better every day. Whether it’s in Brooks, or just at these camps throughout the summer, just trying to get better every day is something that I strive to do, and if I do that, I’ll be the player that I want to be.
Being selected 4th overall tends to come with a lot of pressure, especially recently when you see names like Mitch Marner, Seth Jones, and Ryan Johansen coming out of that draft slot. Luckily, Makar sounds like a young player that doesn’t let outside pressure weigh on him.
I don’t know if there’s so much pressure, I think everybody’s going to have expectations on you, but I think going into this upcoming season with UMass, I’m just going to try to do what I can. UMass is going to give me every opportunity to be the number one defenseman there and hopefully, I can use that to my advantage. I’d like to say I’m a guy that doesn’t really worry about pressure.
Given how shallow the Avs blueline depth is, and how great Makar looked at the World Junior Summer Showcase, some (including the NHL Network hosts) have speculated that we might see him in the NHL sooner rather than later. Makar gave us some insight into how long he thinks it will take him to become an NHL player.
In terms of my development, it’s going to be very beneficial for me to go to college for one or two years or however long they think it’s going to take for me to be ready to jump to the NHL.
Makar seems to have a very good idea of what he’s going to have to work on during his time at UMass-Amherst:
Moving into college hockey, you’re going to have to go against bigger, stronger guys every night and I think with the Olympic size ice at UMass it’s going to be a different challenge in the defensive zone and you’re going to have to find new tactics in order to contain the bigger guys in the corners.
If nothing else, Makar sounds like a young man that definitely knows what it takes to be an NHL player. He isn’t getting too ahead of himself and has the mentality you want to see from your top prospect. He seems to know that this is going to be a huge season for his development and Cale Makar definitely seems like he intends to have a huge impact on the future of the Avalanche organization.
Here is the complete interview: