The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey staff. Eight writers have ranked players under the age of 25 as of August 1, 2022, in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Each participant used their own metric of value to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
Taylor Makar is a familiar name with a familiar story in the Avalanche organization. Selected at 220th overall in the seventh round of the 2021 draft, the younger brother of Cale Makar became a member of the organization on the same day Cale’s six-year $56M contract extension was announced. Why is one Makar enough when you can have two?
A prospect in his own right, Taylor followed the same path as Cale with a three-year career with the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL. Taylor was able to do something that Cale didn’t - win the National Junior A title with Brooks in the 2018-19 season. Taylor also followed in Cale’s footsteps at the University of Massachusetts, but that’s where their paths begin to diverge.
With a larger build and frame, Taylor has developed into a bit of a power forward type who has played both center and wing. His freshman season at UMass also didn’t take off like Cale’s, but that wasn’t expected as Taylor will likely take the time he needs to round into a complimentary bottom-six type of forward. Makar was in and out of the lineup his first year and only scored one goal. Funny story about that — his first career NCAA goal was waived off due to goaltender interference so he decided to score it again in the same game.
Taylor Makar’s first college goal pic.twitter.com/whpjAJHrQm— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) January 30, 2022
The Avalanche are taking a chance on genetics and family character with Taylor in hopes that patience pays off and he becomes the sort of late bloomer with NCAA seasoning type of addition in the same vein as Logan O’Connor. Makar has some of the same uncanny characteristics as his brother, such as skating stride and hard shot, but the overall skill level doesn’t match and Taylor is looking more like a depth forward. Heading into his sophomore season at age 21, Makar is poised to take on a bigger role at UMass and keep developing that power center type of game.
2022 Top 25 Under 25
#24: Nathan Clurman
#25: Ivan Zhigalov