AVALANCHE

NHL execs and players rank Cale Makar league’s top defenseman

Feb 13, 2024, 4:20 PM

Colorado Avalanche superstar Cale Makar is the best defenseman in the world.

We already knew that, but for a second year in a row, so does the rest of the NHL.

Makar was voted the league’s top defenseman by executives and players in a new survey released by ESPN on Tuesday. He was ranked first on 17 of the 20 ballots and second on the other three. Those first-place votes went to Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes, who finished second on the top-10 list.

He’s essentially “Connor McDavid, except a defenseman,” one responder told ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. That’s high praise, considering the Oilers star McDavid has won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP three times in his career and two of the last three seasons.

As ESPN points out, Makar has tallied the most points for a defenseman since he entered the league full-time in the 2019-2020 season. He has 306 points in just 286 games, or more than one per contest. Makar has 60 points in 48 games this year (13 goals, 47 assists), which trails only Hughes (65 points) among defenseman. He was an All-Star once again and even won the NHL’s hardest shot at the festivities in Toronto.

And while Makar’s line-mate Devon Toews didn’t crack the top-10, he did finish No. 13 in the survey. Essentially these voters think the Avalanche have two of the 13 best defenseman in the league.

Cale Makar will look to win the Norris Trophy for a second time in his career as the NHL’s best defenseman. He’s been nominated three years in a row and won the award in 2021-2022, the same year the Avs took home their third Stanley Cup.

To check out the complete defenseman rankings, click here.

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NHL execs and players rank Cale Makar league’s top defenseman