The first in a series of Avalanche Film Room sessions, by Nick Cooper. Follow him @nick_cooper4
We already saw what Cale Makar was capable of in the playoffs last season, and now he’s taken the next step. I haven’t been this excited about a rookie since Nathan Mackinnon in 2013. Makar has made a smooth and easy transition to being an everyday NHL defenseman. His amazing edge work, elite hockey IQ, and offensive abilities set up the Avs’ blue line for years to come. The Calder is definitely within reach for him, and to be honest I expect him to win it. Here are some of my favorite things I’ve seen from him through the first couple weeks of the season:
No offensive defensemen is complete without good vision and making decisions quickly. Lucky for Colorado, Makar is exceptional at both. He can make the play, whether it’s a two-foot pass or a cross-ice pass. Most of his reads are made in one to two seconds or quicker, often catching opposing teams off guard. I can’t wait to watch him dissect defenses around the league.