April 14 (UPI) — The Colorado Avalanche signed UMass defenseman Cale Makar to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Sunday. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Makar, the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner, will join the Avs immediately for their first-round playoff series against the Calgary Flames.
The Avalanche tied the series at 1-1 Saturday night. Makar, who was born in Calgary, led UMass to its first Division I national championship appearance in school history. Makar played in the Minutemen’s 3-0 loss to Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA title game Saturday.
“Cale obviously had a tremendous season, winning the Hobey Baker and getting his team to the Frozen Four,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement. “He is a game-changing type of player who made a lasting impact on the UMass hockey program. We are excited to have him join our team.”
The 20-year-old Maker completed his sophomore season at the school. The Avs selected him with the fourth-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, becoming the highest selection in UMass history.
Makar guided the Minutemen to their first No. 1 ranking in program history and became the first defenseman to lead Hockey East in scoring with 49 points in 40 contests.
Colorado hosts the Flames on Monday night for Game 3.