Avalanche sign UMass’ Makar for playoff series

NHL

The Colorado Avalanche are hoping defenseman Cale Makar can do for them what he did for UMass this season.

The Avs signed the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner Sunday, and he will join the team immediately for its series against the Calgary Flames.

Colorado tied the series 1-1 Saturday night, while Makar, who is from Calgary, and the Minutemen were losing to Minnesota Duluth 3-0 in the NCAA title game.

“He is a game-changing type of player who made a lasting impact on the UMass hockey program,” Avs general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement. “We are excited to have him join our team.”

Makar, 20, who completed his sophomore season, was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft, the highest selection in UMass history.

The Calgary native made plenty of history this season. He led UMass to its first No. 1 ranking, first Frozen Four and was the first defenseman to lead Hockey East in scoring with 49 points in 40 games.

“I’m very excited to start the next chapter of my hockey career,” Makar said in a statement. “I can’t wait to see what it has in store.”

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