Cale Makar signs six-year, $54 million extension with Avs hours before team drafts brother

Sports

FILE – In this May 10, 2021 file photo, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) plays against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Las Vegas. The Avalanche kicked off the second day of the NHL draft by signing top defenseman Makar to a $54 million, six year contract that carries an annual salary cap hit of $9 million. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

DENVER (KXRM) — During Cale Makar’s Zoom press conference to discuss his six-year, $54 million contract extension to stay with the Colorado Avalanche, the 22-year-old mentioned how most of his focus was now on the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

His brother, Taylor, was eligible to be drafted. Not only was he selected in the seventh round (220th overall), but it was Cale’s team that drafted him.

“It’s interesting to me that I’m more nervous now than when I was in the moment,” Cale Makar said. “The draft isn’t a comparable to where you’ll end up. Regardless of if you go or not, anybody has the opportunity to make it if you work at it.

“He’s definitely got a bright future. He’s already taller than me. I think he’s 6’2″ or 6’3″. I’m excited for him going to UMass this year and everything, but I know he’s excited.”

NHL.com lists Taylor as a 6’1″, 172-pound forward, and Cale’s personal scouting report indicates that his younger brother is comparable to Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson with the pesky nature of Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk.

Regarding the immediate future of the Avalanche, Makar’s salary cap hit for the next six seasons will be $9 million. As of Saturday, Colorado now has a little more than $20 million of cap space with which to work.

Gabriel Landeskog and Philipp Grubauer are two unrestricted free agents that the Avs will almost assuredly work to re-sign. Brandon Saad could still be in Colorado’s plans for the 2021-22 season, too.

“Obviously, we want all of us back, especially (Landeskog) and (Grubauer), they’re such key pieces to our team,” Makar said. “Those are guys we’d love to see back. Hopefully the club can work something out with them. Hopefully everyone gets the right deal and they get it done at some point.”

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