Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team

Cale Makar has a goal and eight assists in 16 games with the Minutemen this season

Cale Makar has a goal and eight assists in 16 games with the Minutemen this season

Sources tell TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger that the 19-year-old defenceman from Calgary has turned down the opportunity to represent Canada at next month's Winter Olympics.

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The prestige of the opportunity to win an global gold medal for Canada doesn't have the same intrigue as it would in other cases, either, as Makar is literally days removed from capturing gold at a true best-on-best tournament.

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With the National Hockey League 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. The Canadians beat Sweden 3-1 January 5 to take home gold for the first time since the 2015 tournament. 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. As a freshman anchoring a blue line at Umass-Amherst after making the leap from Tier-II Junior A to NCAA Division 1, another month away from his college team spent sitting on the bench rather than developing could certainly hinder the progress of the 2017 No. 4 overall pick as he tries to make his next steps towards cracking the Colorado Avalanche's roster sometime in the not-too-distant future. Hockey Canada will announce the full roster for the men's team being sent to Pyeongchang Thursday at 12 p.m. ET.

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