It’s hard to find a player with more intrigue in the 2017 draft class than defenseman Cale Makar. Playing for the unheralded Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, the rear-pivot improved upon his 2015-16 campaign by scoring 24 goals and 75 points in 54 games. Makar was an important key to the team’s RBC Cup run, in which they fell to the Cobourg Cougars 3-2 in overtime.
Not of typical size, the 5’11” Makar fits a mold that more resembles that of Erik Karlsson than hulking blue-liner. A heady defenseman with natural offensive and skating ability, it won’t be long before he hears his name called on June 23rd.
Scouting Report via Jeff Marek:
Elusive and agile, can skate the puck out of trouble. Processes the game quickly and can run a power play.
Cale enjoys binge-watching The Office, likely via his Netflix app.
Why a fit with the Winnipeg Jets:
I feel I keep going to the same well as I did with Owen Tippett and Cody Glass, but if available, it will be difficult to pass on a skill set of Makar’s nature. It was during the 2013 NHL Entry draft that the Jets selected Josh Morrissey (also at the thirteenth pick) of similar size, stature, and skill. There is a chance that Tyler Myers could be exposed and selected during the Vegas expansion (yep, I’ve used this material before, too!), Dustin Byfuglien is quickly approaching his mid-thirties, and Jacob Trouba doesn’t have a contract past the 2016-17 season. If you’re looking a few years down the road - and should Makar evolve into the player many predict he will - you can’t go wrong with this pick.
Cons to the selection:
Pop quiz: Can you name the last successful player to be drafted directly from the AJHL? Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Still thinking? Okay, here are a few more seconds... Alright, if you don’t have the answer yet then in the words of En Vogue “no, you’re never gonna get it”. The answer, my friends, is Colton Parayko, who was selected by the St. Louis Blues from the Fort McMurray Oil Barons with 83rd selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Now, Makar and Parayko have very little in common, save for the fact they both played in the AJHL, but to spend top draft capital on a Junior A player may give pause. For juxtaposition, there are many players selected highly out of the BCHL in the first round seemingly every other year so this isn’t necessarily unheard of. Likely of more concern is that 25 of his 51 assists were secondary in nature. If we are to believe there is an over-inflated value to the secondary assist, this could give cause for concern. Nevertheless, Makar has all the makings of a first round talent, but perhaps there will be better value available to Winnipeg at their selection.
|2011-12||NWCAA Bruins Bantam AA||HCBAA||28||4||16||20||18|
|Playoffs||NWCAA Bruins Bantam AA||HCBAA||5||0||3||3||0|
|2012-13||Calgary Flames Bantam AAA||AMBHL||33||3||19||22||22|
|2013-14||NWCAA Stampeders Minor Midget||AMMHL||36||9||19||28||35|
|Calgary Flames Midget AAA||AMHL||6||0||1||1||4|
|2014-15||Calgary Flames Midget AAA||AMHL||34||7||16||23||14|
|Playoffs||Calgary Flames Midget AAA||AMHL||2||0||0||0||0|