NHL

Avalanche's Cale Makar named ‘NHL 24' cover athlete

Makar is one of the top defensemen in the NHL at just 24 years old

NBC Universal, Inc.

The newest "NHL 24" cover athlete comes from Colorado.

EA Sports announced on Monday that Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar will be its cover star for its newest hockey video game.

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Makar has quickly ascended the ranks of the NHL's top defensemen since first stepping on the ice with the Avalanche during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The former UMass star earned the 2019-20 Calder Trophy in his first full NHL season. He finished second in Norris Trophy voting in 2020-21 and followed that up with a career year. He took home the 2021-22 Norris Trophy and added both a Stanley Cup title and Conn Smythe Trophy to his resume while leading the Avalanche over the Tampa Bay Lightning in that year's final.

In 2022-23, Makar picked up 66 points (17 goals, 49 assists) in 60 games. Colorado's hopes of repeating as Stanley Cup champions ended in the first round at the hands of the Seattle Kraken.

Makar is the third Avalanche player to grace an "NHL" cover, joining Peter Forsberg ("NHL 98") and Joe Sakic ("NHL 2004"). He, Dion Phaneuf ("NHL 09") and P.K. Subban ("NHL 19") are the only defensemen to be "NHL" cover athletes over the past two decades.

EA Sports will release an official reveal trailer at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday. "NHL 24" has an expected release date of early October.

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