Skip to main content


Makar the standard-bearer for NHL’s younger generation

2022-23 Core 4 U-24 kchow 2022-23 Core 4 U-24

Cale Makar is the standard-bearer for the NHL’s younger generation.

Makar is No. 1 in Craig Button’s ranking of the Top 50 U-24 NHL-affiliated players and prospects who were 23 or younger as of the start of the NHL season Oct. 11.

Since then, the Colorado superstar has turned 24 and reached 200 career points faster than any defenceman in NHL history.

Makar, who plays the game at breakneck speed, reached the milestone in 195 games, 12 fewer than any other blueliner.

Teammate Nathan MacKinnon has famously said Makar could develop into the greatest defenceman ever.

Button doesn’t share that perspective but sees Makar ending up as one of the all-time greatest by career’s end.

“Makar has a brilliant future ahead of him,” says Button. “I think he could eventually be the third best defenceman behind Bobby Orr and Nicklas Lidstrom.”

Orr won eight consecutive Norris Trophies and Lidstrom won a total of seven best defenceman honours. Makar won his first last year and doubled down by winning the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP with the Stanley Cup champions.

Makar (6-20-26) is one of three players who earned AAA superstar status in Button’s grading – placing ahead of No. 2 Dallas left winger Jason Robertson (23-20-43) and No. 3 New Jersey centre Jack Hughes (16-19-35).

Robertson and Hughes lead a dazzling group of young Americans, with six of Button’s top 11 representing the stars and stripes. The others:  No. 7 Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger, No. 9 Vancouver defenceman Quinn Hughes, No. 10 Ottawa left winger Brady Tkachuk and No. 11 Anaheim centre Trevor Zegras

Montreal centre Nick Suzuki is No. 4 and the highest-ranked player from a Canadian team. The Canadiens and Ottawa Senators each have four players in the top 50, most among Canada-based clubs.

The Canadiens are Suzuki, No. 15 left winger Cole Caufield, No. 28 defenceman Kaiden Guhle and No. 39 left winger Juraj Slafkovsky.

The Senators are Tkachuk, No. 17 centre Tim Stutzle, No. 26 defenceman Jake Sanderson and No. 27 centre Josh Norris.

Dallas has three representatives in the top 10: Robertson, Oettinger, and No. 8 defenceman Miro Heiskanen. Button ranked Dallas’s collection of U-24 players as best in the league.

Ten countries are represented in Button’s ranking. Canada, USA, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Czechia, Slovakia, and Austria.

Three members of the Top 50 have turned 24 since season’s start: Makar, No. 6 Vancouver centre Elias Pettersson and No. 45 Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner.



Nos. 1-5

Player Team Pos. Age Country
1. Cale Makar Colorado RD 24 kchow
2. Jason Robertson Dallas LW 23 kchow
3. Jack Hughes New Jersey C 21 kchow
4. Nick Suzuki Montreal C 23 kchow
5. Rasmus Dahlin Buffalo LD 22 kchow



Nos. 6-10

Player Team Pos. Age Country
6. Elias Pettersson Vancouver C 24 kchow
7. Jake Oettinger Dallas G 23 kchow
8. Miro Heiskanen Dallas LD 23 kchow
9. Quinn Hughes Vancouver LD 23 kchow
10. Brady Tkachuk Ottawa LW 23 kchow



Nos. 11-15

Player Team Pos. Age Country
11. Trevor Zegras Anaheim C 21 kchow
12. Moritz Seider Detroit RD 21 kchow
13. Bowen Byram Colorado LD 21 kchow
14. Owen Power Buffalo LD 20 kchow
15. Cole Caufield Montreal LW 21 kchow



Nos. 16-20

Player Team Pos. Age Country
16. Andrei Svechnikov Carolina RW 22 kchow
17. Tim Stutzle Ottawa C 20 kchow
18. Lucas Raymond Detroit LW 20 kchow
19. Nico Hischier New Jersey C 23 kchow
20. Martin Necas Carolina C 23 kchow



Nos. 21-25

Player Team Pos. Age Country
21. Matt Boldy Minnesota LW 21 kchow
22. Matty Beniers Seattle C 20 kchow
23. Robert Thomas St. Louis C 23 kchow
24. Noah Dobson NY Islanders RD 22 kchow
25. Spencer Knight Florida G 21 kchow



Nos. 26-30

Player Team Pos. Age Country
26. Jake Sanderson Ottawa LD 20 kchow
27. Josh Norris Ottawa C 23 kchow
28. Jamie Drysdale Anaheim RD 20 kchow
29. Kaiden Guhle Montreal LD 21 kchow
30. Cole Perfetti Winnipeg LW 20 kchow



Nos. 31-35

Player Team Pos. Age Country
31. Wyatt Johnston Dallas RW 19 kchow
32. Mason McTavish Anaheim C 19 kchow
33. Kent Johnson Columbus LW 20 kchow
34. Simon Edvinsson Grand Rapids (AHL) LD 19 kchow
35. Jesper Wallstedt Iowa (AHL) G 20 kchow



Nos. 36-40

Player Team Pos. Age Country
36. Sebastian Cossa Grand Rapids (AHL) G 20 kchow
37. Dylan Guenther Arizona RW 19 kchow
38. Juraj Slafkovsky Montreal LW 18 kchow
39. Pavel Mintyukov Saginaw (OHL) LD 19 kchow
40. Luke Hughes Michigan (NCAA) LD 19 kchow



Nos. 41-45

Player Team Pos. Age Country
41. Dylan Cozens Buffalo C 21 kchow
42. Marco Kasper Rogle (SHL) LW 18 kchow
43. Shane Wright Coachella Valley (AHL) C 18 kchow
44. David Jiricek Cleveland (AHL) RD 18 kchow
45. Stuart Skinner Edmonton G 24 kchow



Nos. 46-50

Player Team Pos. Age Country
46. Logan Cooley Minnesota (NCAA) C 18 kchow
47. Zach Bolduc Quebec (QMJHL) C 19 kchow
48. Brandt Clarke Los Angeles RD 19 kchow
49. Jimmy Snuggerud Minnesota (NCAA) RW 18 kchow
50. Yaroslav Askarov Milwaukee (AHL) G 20 kchow