The NCAA announced on Friday that Cale Makar has won the Hobey Baker Award, as Men’s D1 Hockey’s top player. Previously in the year, Makar was also unanimously voted as the Hockey East player-of-the-year, as well as both New England’s player-of-the-year and defenceman-of-the-year. He has scored  points in  games this year with the University of Massachusetts.
Cale Makar Wins Hobey Baker Award
Makar becomes the first University of Massachusettes player to win the award. He beats out Adam Fox and Jimmy Schuldt, two other impressive defencemen. Makar becomes the eighth defenceman to win the award since 1981. The most recent, prior to Makar, was Will Butcher, who won with Denver in 2017.
With Makar as their star this year, Massachusetts set a team record in wins and won their first Hockey East Championship. He also set the record for both single-season assists, and points, by a defenceman in UMass history. Thomas Poeck, who played in over 100 NHL games, previously held both of these records.
The Minutemen will play in their first ever National Championship against Minnesota-Duluth, on Saturday.
The Colorado Avalanche drafted Makar with the fourth overall pick in 2017. The 20-year-old defenceman is expected to join the team as soon as possible, with his college career likely to come to an end after Saturday’s championship game. The Avalanche are facing the Calgary Flames in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are down 1-0 in the series after a 4-0 loss on Thursday night.
Massachusetts head coach, Greg Carvel, spoke very highly of Makar. While discussing Makar’s decision to return for his sophomore year, Carvel said, “[Makar is an] extremely self-aware young man… He has matured physically, in the weight room. He’s a super hockey strong kid. Again, he’s only 20 years old. He’s going to be a phenomenal player.”
AMHERST, MA – NOVEMBER 9: Cale Makar #16 of the Massachusetts Minutemen skates against the Providence College Friars during NCAA hockey at the Mullins Center on November 9, 2017 in Amherst, Massachusetts. Massachusetts won 5-2. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)