NHL

Colorado Avalanche sign former UMass star Cale Makar to 6-year, $54 million deal

Makar was a point-a-game player last season, his second in the NHL.

In this May 10, 2021 file photo, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar plays against the Vegas Golden Knights. John Locher/AP File Photo


The Colorado Avalanche kicked off the second day of the NHL draft Saturday by signing top defenseman Cale Makar to a $54 million, six-year contract.

Makar will count $9 million against the salary cap through the 2026-27 season.

His deal comes on the heels of Chicago trading for and extending Seth Jones for $76 million over eight seasons and Dallas inking Miro Heiskanen to a $67.6 million, eight-year contract.

Makar was a point-a-game player last season, his second in the NHL, and the 22-year-old has 94 points in his first 101 regular-season games. He’s set to make $8 million next season, $9 million in the second year, then $11 million, $10.6 million, $8.7 million and $6.7 million as part of a contract that takes into account the expected rise of the salary cap.

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The Makar signing is the first of what could be many moves on the second day of the draft early in a busy offseason.

Buffalo trading forward Sam Reinhart is expected to be another. The Sabres dealt defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to Philadelphia on Friday for the No. 14 pick and 2023 second-rounder and selected Owen Power first.

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