Frequent Frozen Four participant North Dakota
Voting is now open for the WCHA Preseason Media Poll. Here is the ballot that I submitted for this year's poll. Expect the actual poll to be released on September 28th.
1. North Dakota
4. Colorado College
9. St. Cloud State
10. Minnesota State
11. Michigan Tech
12. Bemidji State
As far as separating the teams into tiers, I would say 1-3 are all pretty close, 4-7 is a pretty clear step below, and then 8-12, yeeeeeesh. This does not appear to be the WCHA's strongest year.
F- Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College
F-Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth
F-Corbin Knight, North Dakota
D- Justin Schultz, Wisconsin
D- Brad Hunt, Bemidji State
G- Aaron Dell, North Dakota
The last forward spot came down to Knight and two forwards from Denver. I went with Hunt over UND's Ben Blood, just because I think Hunt is going to do a little more on both ends of the ice.
Player of the Year: Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College
Rookie of the Year: Rocco Grimaldi, North Dakota
Coach of the Year: Mel Pearson, Michigan Tech
Player of the year was a tough choice between Schwartz and UW's Justin Schultz. I think Grimaldi is the most talented incoming rookie, though I wouldn't be surprised if the award ended up going to someone else that has a better statistical year like UNO's Jayson Megna and Minnesota State's Matt Leitner. Granted, this whole exercise is a little silly, but voting on preseason coach of the year seems especially so. But Michigan Tech is due for a pretty big rebound this year, so Pearson seems like a logical choice.