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Colorado Avalanche Top 25 Under 25: #1 Cale Makar

Cale Makar hopes to continue legendary success heading into 2022-23.

2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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.

Was there ever any doubt about who would be at number one on this list?

Cale Makar has enjoyed one of the most successful three-year careers in the history of the NHL, quickly stocking his trophy case to the brim. Ponder just how quickly things have escalated for the rosy-cheeked kid out of the province of Alberta. Makar went from winning the Hobey Baker award at UMASS to scoring the game-winner in his debut NHL game in the playoffs against his hometown heroes, the Calgary Flames. Turned that success into a rookie campaign that won him the Calder Trophy. In his second full season as a pro, he would win the Norris Trophy, the Stanley Cup, and the Conn Smyth award for most valuable player in the playoffs.

That paragraph is staggering. Even more so when you consider all that success happened in just over three years' time and in just 178 professional games. That’s right, Cale Makar has 180 points in 178 games starting in 2022-23. If we prorate that over the length of his current contract, he will amass roughly 300 more points in five seasons, and that’s only if he plays about 60 games a season. If that modest projection comes true, he will be among the NHL’s top 50 in career scoring for defensemen before his 29th birthday. The reality is that he will amass as many points as he plays games from season to season if he continues to produce at this pace.

I think it’s safe to say we all know the no. 8 will be in the rafters someday, but I hope that someday comes in well over a decade. A decade that could prove the most dominant decade ever from a defenseman. His points aren't the only thing that stands out. He is among the league's best two-way players, position aside. His game appeals not just to the young high-flying skill lovers but also to the grind-it-out positional play that gets the purists going.

Cale Makar is already beloved in this community and amongst his teammates. He represents the core of this Avalanche team’s and the future of sports in the state of Colorado. Just how much more can we expect from a young man that’s essentially already done it all? I can’t wait to find out.

Let us know what you thought of our rankings in the comments!

2022 Top 25 Under 25

#2: Bowen Byram

#3: Sam Girard

#4: Alex Newhook

#5: Ben Meyers

#6: Oskar Olausson

#7: Justus Annunen

#8: Sean Behrens

#9: Jean-Luc Foudy

#10: Sampo Ranta

#11: Martin Kaut

#12: Alex Beaucage

#13: Mikhail Maltsev

#14: Shane Bowers

#15: Colby Ambrosio

#16: Danila Zhuravlyov

#17: Andrei Buyalsky

#18: Matthew Steinburg

#19: Nikolai Kovalenko

#20 Trent Miner

#21: Keaton Middleton

#21: Wyatt Aamodt

#23: Taylor Makar

#24: Nathan Clurman

#25: Ivan Zhigalov