Here are my WCHA pre-season awards, with some brief commentary italicized.
Player of the Year: Jordan Schroeder, Minnesota
Goalie of the Year: Brad Eidsness, North Dakota
Rookie of the Year: Dylan Olsen, Minnesota-Duluth
Defenseman of the Year: Chay Genoway, North Dakota
Genoway may be in the running for Player of the Year, especially if, like I predicted, UND wins the league and Minnesota comes in an uninspiring fourth, but I'll stick with Schroeder who I think is the best player in the league.
1st Team All-WCHA
F-Jordan Schroeder, Minnesota
F-Justin Fontaine, Minnesota-Duluth
F-Chris VandeVelde, North Dakota
D-Chay Genoway, North Dakota
D-Patrick Wiercioch, Denver
G-Brad Eidsness, North Dakota
VandeVelde may not put up the points of some other forwards in the league, but he also makes an impact in a lot of other areas and I feel he's a bit undervalued.
Defense was a tough call because I felt like there were three good players for two spots. I gave the nod to Wiercioch over McDonagh since Wiercioch is likely to put up a few more points.
2nd Team All-WCHA
F-Derek Stepan, Wisconsin
F-Ryan Lasch, St. Cloud
F-Anthony Maiani, Denver
D-Ryan McDonagh, Wisconsin
D-Garrett Raboin, St. Cloud
G-Marc Cheverie, Denver
I think this will be a real breakout year for Derek Stepan. My lack of enthusiasm for Lasch's style of play is well-documented, but he'll probably end up with enough points to make it onto one of these teams.
After the top 3 defensemen in the league, the choices for the fourth best D aren't that inspiring. Raboin and Kurt Davis will probably fight it out by each playing about 50 minutes a game.
Eidsness and Cheverie are pretty much a toss-up. Whoever finishes first in the league probably gets the nod. Thank goodness I don't have a pick a third goalie.
F-Danny Kristo, North Dakota
F-Ben Hanowski, St. Cloud
F-Rylan Schwartz, Colorado College
D- Dylan Olsen, Minnesota-Duluth
D-Nick Leddy, Minnesota
G-Mike Lee, St. Cloud
There's actually real competition for the rookie goalie title this year, with likely three freshmen starting in goal for their teams. Lee is the most talented, and should be on the best team of the three.