Factors such as the impact of recruits, defense and goaltending will have a direct result on the final standings in the first year of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, but let's take a look at each team's offensive productivity for returning players.
The following table ranks each team in the NCHC in terms of the percentage of offensive productivity returning. The ranking was determined by dividing the total points scored last season by the points scored by returning players. The same was done to determine the percentage of goal scoring of returning players.
|Team||Pct. Points Returning||Pct. Goals Returning||'12-13 Off. Nat'l Rank||Leading Returning Scorer|
|Miami||77.1%||83.0%||38||Austin Czarnik, Jr. (14-26--40)|
|Nebraska-Omaha||70.1%||70.0%||5||Ryan Walters, Sr. (22-30--52)|
|St. Cloud||69.7%||75.9%||4||Nic Dowd, Sr. (14-25--39)|
|Denver||65.0%||63.2%||3||Joey LaLeggia, Jr. (11-18--29)|
|Minnesota-Duluth||64.5%||62.6%||35||Austin Farley, So. (16-18--34)|
|Western Michigan||63.7%||65.5%||51||Chase Balisy, Sr. (11-14--25)|
|Colorado College||52.1%||47.4%||10||A. Krusbelynski, Sr. (15-28--43)|
|North Dakota||51.2%||53.3%||8||R. Grimaldi, So. (13-23--36)|
St. Cloud advanced to the 2013 Frozen Four for the first time in school history. The Huskies return a whopping 107 goals from last year's team that was ranked fourth nationally in scoring offense. Bob Motzko's squad could be poised for another big year.
Miami returns the largest percentage of its offense of any team in the NCHC. The Redhawks weren't as prolific as the Huskies, but Rico Blasi's team will likely be the favorite to win the inaugural league championship.
Nebraska-Omaha was blasted with bad news at the end of August that Matt White would be kicked off the team for his actions in an off-campus dispute. Still, the Mavericks return a lot of their scoring prowess from last year. Goaltending could crop up as an issue for Dean Blais' squad.
North Dakota and Colorado College lost a large portion of their respective offenses. Basically half the offensive production from last season departed Grand Forks and Colorado Springs. Both programs have good recruiting classes, but slow starts should be expected.
More from Western College Hockey Blog:
- Atlantic Hockey: Ranking Teams by Percentage of Offense Returning
- ECAC Hockey: Ranking Teams By Returning Offensive Production
- Hockey East Preview: Ranking the Offenses by Returning Players
- Big 10 Hockey Preview: Ranking the Offenses by Returning Players
- WCHA Preview: Ranking the Offenses by Returning Players
Jeff Cox is a hockey reporter for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.