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NHL 24 cover star Cale Makar: 'I didn’t think this was even possible'

The Avalanche star on making it EA big

EA Sports revealed Cale Makar as the NHL 24 cover star, and the Colorado Avalanche defenseman says he’s honored even to be considered.

The NHL video game franchise played a big part in Makar’s life, he says. He grew up playing EA Sports’ NHL with his brother and friends, and then during the COVID-19 lockdowns, he and his teammates stayed connected by hopping online for a few matches.

“I didn’t think this was even possible,” Makar says. “It’s so cool to have these memories from growing up and then be a part of it now. I’m honored to even be considered.”

A white man wearing a red and blue hockey uniform is skating down the ice, with the words EA Sports NHL 24 emblazoned at the top of the image

Makar jokes about having to change his approach to hockey playing since those after-school sessions with his brother. They “played for the kills” then, throwing strategy out the window in favor of tackles and smashing each other into walls. He admits he might have subconsciously absorbed some of that aggression and built his playstyle on it, but in general, Makar takes a more tactical approach to his game now.

Over the years, Makar says he made concentrated efforts to improve his defensive game and learn “the ins and outs” as much as possible and even find ways to get creative and improvise his strategies.

These small, but measurable improvements are what Makar says he takes the most pride in and what he recommends everyone who’s interested in a hockey career to focus on.

“Enjoy the process,” Makar says. Don’t aim for fame, and don’t overwork. Just work on getting a little better each time.”

He also recommends branching out into other sports just for fun. Even if you don’t plan on playing them professionally, Makar says you can learn more and bring new ideas back to your craft that way.

As for what’s next, Makar says he’s been getting into Madden fantasy football lately and love to feature in it or maybe get an invitation for a guest appearance in Grand Theft Auto someday.