Cale Makar became just the fifth rookie in the NHL’s expansion era (1967-68) to score a goal in his NHL debut during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The 20-year-old defenseman gave the Colorado Avalanche a 3-0 edge in Game 3 of their series with the Calgary Flames when he slipped a shot through goalie Mike Smith.
Makar is only 48 hours removed from playing for UMass as a sophomore in the men’s hockey national championship game in Buffalo. He signed his entry-level contract Sunday before joining the team for his first practice in Denver Monday morning.
Makar’s whirlwind weekend also included winning the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s top player Friday night. He is only the second player to make his debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the same year he won college hockey’s highest individual honor.
Tony Hrkac appeared in three playoff games with the St. Louis Blues in 1987 after winning both a national championship and the Hobey Baker a week prior. He, however, did not hit the score sheet in any of those three games.
Lauri Korpikoski is the last player to score a goal in his NHL debut during the playoffs, doing so with the New York Rangers in 2008.