Entering this Hockey East season, there was a bit of uncertainty surrounding third-year head coach Greg Carvel’s Massachusetts Minutemen.
Of course, the major question regarding their prospects was whether or not star defenseman Cale Makar would forgo the rest of his collegiate eligibility to begin his professional career with the Colorado Avalanche.
But after helping UMass win 17 games and its first Hockey East postseason series since 2007, and seeing the team’s potential for this year, Makar knew that Amherst would be the best place for him to continue his development from an offensively gifted defenseman — to whom the game came “easy” in the Alberta Junior Hockey League — into more of an all-around force.
“The coaching staff has helped me a lot in terms of developing consistency in my defensive play and being able to lay out my energy all around the ice,” said sophomore Makar, who became the highest draftee in UMass history when the Avalanche selected him with their No. 4 overall pick in 2017. “It’s something I’m still working on, but at the end of the day I think I’m getting better. That’s all you can ask for — just getting better every day.”