The Colorado Avalanche has a superstar forward in Nathan MacKinnon, but on the backend, they have an emerging defenseman who is just as good in Cale Makar. The 23-year-old has started the new season with an incredible run of goals, putting him right in line for huge numbers this season, which are already making history, and could do so further in the future.
Since the Colorado Avalanche back drafted him 4th overall in 2017, Makar has slowly grown into a player of incredible quality. He can do his defensive job well, but it is moving forward where he really excels, and this season we have seen that turn into several goals to start the season.
Should Makar continue this pace, he is almost certain to win the Norris Trophy for the best defenseman, something that he is currently +450 join favorite for with BetOnline Sportsbook, alongside Adam Fox of the New York Rangers. Betting on the Norris Trophy is available throughout the season, with odds changing as things develop and there are many NJ free bets and promos available online for those who want to get involved. With every goal that Makar scores, his odds of winning are likely to decrease, and Fox will have to do something magical to match what is currently happening in Colorado.
Makar Sets Incredible Scoring Pace
The Avalanche have played 22 games so far this season, and Makar has played in 19 of those, missing a small number due to injury. In the 19 games he has featured, he’s scored 11 goals, including the coast-to-coast effort against Philadelphia recently.
If you look back in history and go back to the 1946-47 season to the present day, we have seen a defenseman score 11 goals or more before their 20th game on just six occasions, including when Makar did this himself. Bobby Orr, the greatest defenseman to ever play the game, did this twice, so Makar is in a group that includes him and just four other players.
11+ goals by a defenceman before their 20th game – Last 75 NHL seasons (1946-47 to present):
Bobby Orr- 14 (1974-75)
Phil Housley- 13 (1987-88)
Cale Makar- 11 (2021-22 via his goal for the @Avalanche tonight)
Orr- 11 (1973-74)
Paul Reinhart- 11 (1984-85)
Dave Ellet- 11 (1988-89) pic.twitter.com/WYRyMLAnlC
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) December 7, 2021
Every other occasion this has happened, the internet didn’t exist for public use, showing how far back we have to go to find the last time this happened. Given how much the game has changed, and how much tougher it is to score goals now, you could argue that in the context of when games were played, Makar’s effort is the best on the list, even if he hasn’t scored the most goals from the list.
What are Future Projections?
There is no doubt about it, providing that Cale Makar stays healthy this season, he is going to score a lot of goals. He’s currently on a 40-goal season pace based on the games he has played, though that may be a little tough for him to reach.
Scoring 30 goals should certainly be the aim though, and this would be enough to put him into even more elite company, should he do this, fully justifying the big contract he signed in the summer.
We have seen an NHL defenseman score 30 goals just 17 times in total, and this has been done by nine players. No one has done this for over a decade, and it would be another sign that Makar is quickly turning into the best defenseman the game offers, and best of all, he’s doing this at just 23-years-old.