Makar to join Avs after signing ELC

UMass men's hockey defenseman and Hobey Baker Award victor Cale Makar signed a three-year entry-level contract Sunday with the Colorado Avalanche.

The 6-foot, 192-pound Makar was the fourth overall pick by Colorado in the 2017 draft.

The Avalanche squared their best-of-seven series against the Flames Saturday night at 1-1 thanks to an overtime victor from Nathan MacKinnon. UMass finished as runner-up after losing to Minnesota Duluth in the championship on Saturday night. He will immediately join the Avalanche, which are in the midst of their Western Conference first-round playoff series with the Calgary Flames.

Makar, who ESPN named the No. 1 drafted prospect in all of hockey last month, led the Minutemen with 49 points (16 goals, 33 assists) as a sophomore. Makar was also named the 2019 Hobey Baker Award victor, becoming the first player in school history to win college hockey's top individual prize. "We are excited to have him join our team".

But signing Makar now and surrendering that year of his ELC sends a message from the Colorado front office: They're committed to this year's group and believe that Makar can be enough of an impact player from the jump to warrant the sacrifice.