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WCHA Preseaon Poll Ballot

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Frequent Frozen Four participant North Dakota
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.

Standings

1. North Dakota

2. Denver

3. Nebraska-Omaha

4. Colorado College

5. Wisconsin

6. Minnesota

7. Minnesota-Duluth

8. Alaska-Anchorage

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.

All-WCHA Team

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.

Awards

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.