The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey Leauge (AJHL) are proud to announce that 1998-born defenceman Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) has committed to attend and play for the University of Massachusetts, beginning in the 2017-18 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey season.
Located in Amherst, Massachusetts, the Minutemen play in the NCAA’s Division I Hockey East conference under fourth year head coach John Micheletto.
“Cale is a special player and he made us all well aware of that fact during last year's playoff run,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “We are excited to be able to work with him prior to his departure to UMass.”
Makar, 16, led the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association (NWCAA) Midget AAA Flames in scoring this past season with 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) in 34 league games, being named the team’s Most Valuable Player as well as one of two First Team All-Star defencemen by the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL).
The 5’8”, 155lb defenceman joined the Bandits as an affiliate player late in the regular season, scoring three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his first-ever Junior A game on February 16th in a home game against the Olds Grizzlys, and adding two more assists in games against Okotoks and the Calgary Mustangs at the end of February.
Makar also played in all 20 Bandit playoff games and added another 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists), the third-most among Bandit blueliners. He scored the game-winning goal in Game 1 of the team’s South Division semi-final against the Okotoks Oilers.
Makar signed with the Bandits in mid-May as a key recruit for the 2015-16 campaign.
“In choosing Brooks, Cale decided to go through the NCAA path, and we are happy that he was able to narrow down his options and make a decision prior to the stresses of a rookie season,” Papaioanou added. “Cale is expected to be an offensive contributor this season while still remaining a sound defender.”
Makar is the sixth Bandit to commit to the Minutemen program in just the last three seasons, joining current UMass players Patrick Lee, Maddison Smiley, and Austin Plevy, as well as current Bandits Kyler Nachtigall and Shane Bear.
“I couldn’t be more excited with my decision to join the Minutemen,” said Makar. “I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”
Makar is also the seventh Bandit on the 2015-16 roster to commit to a Division I institution, joining:
Kyler Nachtigall (University of Massachusetts)
Shane Bear (University of Massachusetts)
Jared Cockrell (Air Force)
Derek Lodermeier (Army)
Austin Wright (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Mike Falanga (Sacred Heart University)
The Bandit organization would like to congratulate Cale on his commitment and look forward to what is sure to be a spectacular junior career in preparation for the jump to collegiate hockey.