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Cale Makar Wins 2022 Conn Smythe Award After Avalanche Capture Stanley Cup

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 27, 2022

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Cale Makar joined select company as the Colorado Avalanche lifted the Stanley Cup for the third time.

Makar was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the Stanley Cup playoffs. He's just the fourth defenseman over the last 20 years to earn the honor.

NHL @NHL

ALL HAIL CALE!! 🥇<br><br>Cale Makar (<a href="https://twitter.com/Cmakar8?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Cmakar8</a>) is this year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/QZQVnWu5RI">pic.twitter.com/QZQVnWu5RI</a>

NHL @NHL

Cale Makar (<a href="https://twitter.com/Cmakar8?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Cmakar8</a>), just WOW — add a Conn Smythe Trophy to your cabinet. 🙌 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/js7oJ2MgYE">pic.twitter.com/js7oJ2MgYE</a>

As Colorado held on for a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6, the Conn Smythe was widely viewed as a two-horse race between Makar and Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon notched his 13th goal of the postseason Sunday and provided an assist for Artturi Lehkonen's go-ahead tally with 12:28 off the clock in the second period.

But Makar had a postseason to remember given both his position and age (23).

ESPN @espn

Cale Makar has won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.<br><br>He's the youngest defenseman in 52 years to win it 👏 <a href="https://t.co/0f7qEde6c9">pic.twitter.com/0f7qEde6c9</a>

The third-year defenseman had 29 points (eight goals, 29 assists) in 20 playoff games. Only three other defensemen (Paul Coffey, Brian Leetch and Al MacInnis) have finished with more points in a single postseason run.

Makar is less than a week removed from lifting the Norris Trophy to cement his status as the NHL's top defenseman. Now, he has some more hardware to add to his showcase.

Paul Skrbina @PaulSkrbina

Makar is so good. So good that when I asked Roman Josi the other day about him and losing the Norris to him, Josi said he couldn’t disagree with the outcome. “He’s going to win a lot more of them. I just wish he’d given an old man like me one more shot at it.”

Scott McLaughlin @smclaughlin9

Players who have won the Norris and Conn Smythe in the same season:<br>Bobby Orr (1970)<br>Bobby Orr (1972)<br>Nicklas Lidstrom (2002)<br>Cale Makar (2022)

To say Makar has a bright future is stating the obvious. He's already a two-time All-Star who has savored the highest team and individual accolades handed out in hockey. Imagine what more he might achieve.

But perhaps the one question on everybody's minds is how the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars all passed on Makar in the 2017 NHL draft.

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