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2017 Draft Prospect Profile: Cale Makar represents the new breed of NHL defenseman

...and he could be the first blueliner taken in the 2017 draft.

2016 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Cale Makar

Position: D

Current Team: Brooks Bandits (AJHL)

Date of Birth: October 30, 1998

Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 173 lbs

Shoots: Right

2016 - 2017 Stats

54 GP / 24 G / 51A / 75PTS / 18PIM

Makar is the big riser this year, making a name for himself with Brooks of the Alberta Jr. A league and for Canada West at the World Jr. A tournament.

More and more we’re seeing smaller defenders that combine great skating and offensive ability, and Makar has that in spades. He’s diminutive, but is a wizard with the puck and will give the team that drafts him a stud to build a powerplay around.

This draft class is all about the smaller defender (outside of Cal Foote, you-know-who’s kid) at the top of the draft, and depending on the NHL club, Makar may be the first blueliner taken.

He’s heading to UMass (Amherst) in the fall.

Further reading: NHL.com Draft Profile

Scouting Reports

March 2017 – One of this year’s biggest draft ranking riser is right shot defenceman Cale Makar who plays tier II Canadian junior hockey in the AJHL. Coming from nowhere to start the season his play quietly began to command notice and he generated a lot of buzz after the World Junior A tournament where as Captain he posted four goals and eight points in four games and was a standout. Makar is arguably the most offensive defenceman in his draft class and the fastest skater of the 2017 draft group as well. He is a dynamic offensive player with speed to burn and is very competitive. Makar has great hockey sense and reads plays well making good decisions when to join a rush. He is and undersized player and needs to add strength and learn to be effective defensively and physically despite being undersized. Makar has committed to play College hockey next year for UMass in the NCAA where he can work on his strength and play against older and stronger competition. - Peter Harling, Dobber

This small defender has all the making of a future NHL offenseman. Seems to be in constant motion, and able to intercept pucks and turn them in to quick strikes towards his opponent's net. Very undersized and will need plenty more muscle as he continues his development. Clearly one of the smarter and better offensively talented dee-men in the class. The PP QB on his Alberta Junior League team, and has a quick release of a point shot that he gets off without taking a big backswing. He displays strong wrists take enable him to get strength on his shots and zip on his passes. After being selected to play in the World junior Challenge it what might have been viewed as a step up in competition compared to the players he faces in the AJHL, he looked dominant in many phases, using his lateral agility and athletic strides to cut through the neutral zone, activating to open space on the give and go, and reading ensuing plays and covering huge areas of the ice with his feet. His speed and good edging work in consort with his ability to handle the puck at top speed. When he is doesn't have the puck, he looks to jump on errant passes or ones sent cross ice changing possessions. Will pinch but always gets back in position in a few strides because he so quick. Holds a strong gap. This is a player who creates space and time and plays smart. More of long term development project but he is a player. - Bill Placzek, Draft Site

A quick little defenseman that is a complete and dangerous offensive package…a fantastic skater… an effortless stride and light feet…loses no speed in transitions and is difficult to lock down as he can change directions on a dime…excels at walking the line with various feigns and stutter steps to open up shooting and passing lanes…doesn’t posses a cannon but a solid shot with an ability to surprise goaltenders…has smooth hands and shows an ability to dangle through defenders…instincts and smarts with the puck are elite and he is a driver of offence…has high level awareness in all areas on the ice and has an innate understanding of how the play is developing…doesn’t have ideal size for a defenceman however and could use added strength for battles down low…defensive positioning can use refinement…overall a skilled offenseman who passes with purpose and accuracy and fits the mold of a puck moving defenceman at the NHL level. - Future Considerations

Makar Highlights