Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team

By Ryan Ames

(Imogen Fairs/Daily Collegian)

Cale Makar, a freshman on the Massachusetts hockey team, turned down an invitation to play for Team Canada in the upcoming Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, according to TSN insider Darren Dreger.

In a tweet sent out Wednesday afternoon, Dreger says Makar “respectfully declined” an invitation from Hockey Canada to compete for its Olympic Team:

With the NHL refusing to send its players to the 2018 Winter Games, athletes playing professionally overseas as well as NCAA athletes, like Makar, are eligible to be selected to play for their country in this year’s Olympics.

Makar just returned from a successful stint in the IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo as he was a part of the gold-medal-winning Team Canada squad. The Canadians beat Sweden 3-1 Jan. 5 to take home gold for the first time since the 2015 tournament.

Individually, Makar was the highest scoring defenseman in the field, posting eight points in seven games for Team Canada. Makar’s breakout performance led to a selection to the all-tournament all-star team as one of the six best players in the tournament.

Makar, the fourth-overall selection by the Colorado Avalanche in last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, will return to the UMass lineup this weekend when the Minutemen face Vermont in a two-game set.

Hockey Canada is expected to announce its roster Thursday at 2 p.m.

Ryan Ames can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.