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2012-2013 NAHL Preview/Predictions

Last year, after taking in the NAHL Showcase, I decided to rank the teams in each division of the NAHL, and I ended up coming fairly close to the actual standings. This year, I only ended up seeing 22 out of the 24 teams, but I think I got a pretty good handle on what every team has over the course of the four day showcase, so I thought I would try it again. Here's how I see the league shaping up this year.

Central Division

1. Bismarck Bobcats

2.Brookings Blizzard

3.Coulee Region Chill

4. Austin Bruins

5. Aberdeen Wings

6. Minot Minotauros

Bismarck had a rough go at the Showcase, but I felt like they also had a tougher schedule than some of the other teams in their division. There's a lot of talent on that roster, and they should be pretty good once they get into divisional play. Teams 2-5 seem pretty interchangeable. Aberdeen and Minot are both much improved in their second year of existence, but still don't quite have the talent and depth to seriously compete.

North Division

1. Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings

2. Port Huron Fighting Falcons

3. Janesville Jets

4. Johnstown Tomahawks

5. Michigan Warriors

6. Springfield Jr. Blues

7. Jamestown Ironmen

8. Soo Eagles

Kalamazoo and Port Huron are the class of this division, and should battle it out for the top spot. Port Huron returns a lot of offensive talent from last year's division-winning team, but don't quite have the same size they did last year, which could be the difference.

South Division

1. Texas Tornado

2. Amarillo Bulls

3. Topeka Roadrunners

4.Wichita Falls Wildcats

5.Corpus Christi Ice Rays

6. Odessa Jackalopes

Texas looked very strong at the Showcase. Amarillo dominated this division last year, and should be very good again this year. It should be a great battle between the more offensive Tornado and more defensive Bulls all year long for the top spot. Topeka and Wichita Falls are a slight step behind, but still decent teams.

West Division

1. Wenatchee Wild

2. Fairbanks Ice Dogs

3. Fresno Monsters

4. Kenai River Brown Bears

Wenatchee was by far the most physical team at the Showcase, which should translate into a lot of wins this year. Fairbanks has a lot of skill and speed, but they're young, and they might have a tough time against the stronger, more experienced Wenatchee team.