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2017 NHL Draft Profile: Cale Makar a strong candidate for Red Wings blue line

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Canada v Czech Republic - Quarterfinal -  2017 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Today, we’re talking about a prospect that has soared top the top of draft rankings since the winter. Cale Makar’s outstanding performance with the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL has opened the eyes of scouts, analysts, and fans.

I don’t need to really explain to you why the Red Wings should be interested in Makar. They’re a team that is in dire need of a defensive renaissance. While I don’t see a true 1D in this draft class, Makar has brought himself to the top with his dominance. It’s doubtful that he falls to the Red Wings spot, but a few things could lead to the unlikely happening.

Player vitals

Name: Cale Makar
Position: Defenseman
Date of birth: 10/30/98 (18 years old)
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 175 lbs.
NHL comparable: Sami Vatanen

Rankings

ISS Hockey: 15
McKeen’s Hockey: 12
Future Considerations: 5
NHL CSS: 9 (North American skaters)

Player analysis

Cale Makar is an elusive defenseman with exceptional offensive instincts and lateral movement. He reminds me a lot of Brian Rafalski in that he could be an excellent complementary defenseman. As I said before, I don’t think he or any other player is a bonafide 1D, but he’s certainly got the tools to be a mainstay with duties such as acting in a QB role.

While his frame hinders his wingspan, Makar’s gap control is impressive for a lad of his size. He’s a true puck-moving defensemen with electrifying abilities. The biggest concern is what he will look like in a league with stronger competition. The AJHL is all but a difficult level, according to most. Though, it did produce defensemen like Colton Parayko, but I wouldn’t call Makar a comparable to that.

All-in-all, Cale Makar is likely the most skilled blue-liner in the draft. His abilities are top-10, but his size may put him below that.

Highlights

Credit: Seer Video YouTube


It’s hard to see if Cale Makar will be available when the Red Wings are on the clock in the 1st round, but it’s not hard to see him being a perfect fit for the team. The Red Wings are in need of true talent all over the ice, and defense would likely be considered number one on the list.

The size is a concern, sure, but if he’s available then I think Cale Makar is a no-brainer of a pick. He’ll have a season in the NCAA with UMass Amherst, and then they can decide what will be the best path for his development. I’d say Makar has at least a couple of years before he reaches the NHL, though.