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WCHA Preview: Ranking the Offenses by Returning Players

Mike Hastings' Minnesota State squad returns 81.9% of its offense from a year ago when his Mavericks were ranked 14 nationally.

Minnesota State players celebrate following a goal.
Minnesota State players celebrate following a goal.
Larry Radloff Photography

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 WCHA, but let's take a look at each team's offensive productivity for returning players.

The following table ranks each in the WCHA team 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
Bowling Green 90.5% 91.0% 43 Ryan Carpenter, Jr. (18-15--33)
Alabama-Huntsville 87.5% 88.8% 59 Jeff Vanderlugt, Jr. (7-4--11)
Minnesota State 81.9% 79.5% 14 Matt Leitner, Jr. (17-30--47)
Michigan Tech 79.4% 81.3% 24 Alex Petan, So. (15-19--34)
Ferris State 73.1% 62.5% 36 Garrett Thompson, Sr. (11-15--26)
Northern Michigan 70.0% 76.7% 47 Reed Seckel, Jr. (13-12--25)
Alaska-Anchorage 67.4% 61.2% 58 Blake Tatchell, So. (9-16--25)
Alaska-Fairbanks 63.5% 57.9% 37 Cody Kunyk, Sr. (11-17--28)
Lake Superior 58.1% 50.0% 48 Dan Radke, Sr. (5-16--21)
Bemidji State 50.3% 47.3% 56 Danny Mattson, Jr. (4-15--19)

Some of these statistics are skewed for various reasons. The newly revamped WCHA is made up of teams who played last season in the CCHA, WCHA and in Alabama-Huntsville's case as an independent.

On paper, it would appear that Minnesota State, Michigan Tech and Bowling Green have the best chance to succeed offensively in the WCHA this season.

Keep in mind the above chart just ranks teams purely by percentage of offensive production returning. This is not the prediction for where teams will finish as other factors contribute.

Bemidji State and Lake Superior lost the highest percentage of their team's offense from a season ago.

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Jeff Cox is a hockey reporter for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.