CC ranked 7th in WCHA coaches poll

With Don Lucia unable to vote for his own team, this poll was essentially unanimous for Minnesota to win the league title with North Dakota a very strong second.

The media thought more highly of Wisconsin than St. Cloud State for the only difference between the polls. The bottom five, starting with Colorado College at No. 7 are the same.

The media and coaches were close on the preseason player honorees with Nick Bjugstad of Minnesota as the Player of the Year pick and Rocco Grimaldi of North Dakota as the Rookie of the Year pick.

CC’s Rylan Schwartz and Josh Thorimbert were not recognized, but there was no goalie honor for the coaches poll.

I would be remiss if I did not not that the top eight teams are all leaving the WCHA for the Big 10 and National Collegiate Hockey Conference after this season.

Here is the media poll from last week so you may compare for yourself.

94X WCHA PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Minnesota (24 first place votes) … 11.92 poll average

2. North Dakota (1) … 10.76

3. Denver … 9.92

4. Wisconsin … 7.8

5. Minnesota Duluth … 6.88

6. St. Cloud State … 6.84

7. Colorado College … 6.08

8. Nebraska Omaha … 5.48

9. Michigan Tech … 5.2

10. Minnesota State … 3.6

11. Bemidji State … 2.48

12. Alaska Anchorage … 1.04

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Nick Bjugstad, forward, Minnesota (16 votes)

Others receiving more than one vote: Erik Haula, forward, Minnesota (4); Mark Zengerle, forward, Wisconsin (3)

PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Rocco Grimaldi, forward, North Dakota (8 1/2 votes)

Others receiving more than one vote: Nic Kerdiles, forward, Wisconsin (5); Jordan Schmaltz, defenseman, North Dakota (2 1/2); Brady Skjei, defenseman, Minnesota (2); Andy Welinski, defenseman, Minnesota Duluth (2)

PRESEASON ALL-WCHA TEAM

Forwards

Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota (20 votes); Mark Zengerle, Wisconsin (17); Ben Hanowski, St. Cloud State (8)

Others receiving more than one vote: Danny Kristo, North Dakota (7); Erik Haula, Minnesota (6); Rylan Schwartz, Colorado College (5); Corban Knight, North Dakota (3)

Defensemen

Joey LaLeggia, Denver (20 votes); Nick Jensen, St. Cloud State (9)

Others receiving more than one vote: Nate Schmidt, Minnesota (7); Wade Bergman, Minnesota Duluth (3)

Goalie

Sam Brittain, Denver and Josh Thorimbert, Colorado College (7 1/2 votes each)

Others receiving more than one vote: Juho Olkinuora, Denver (3), Joel Rumpel, Wisconsin (2)

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About paisleyhockey
I am the college hockey writer for the Colorado Springs Gazette focusing on the Atlantic Hockey Association, National Collegiate Hockey Conference and Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

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