Michigan is predicted to win the Big Ten over Minnesota while Michigan State goalie Jake Hildebrand is expected to keep his claim as the top goalie in the conference.
The Wolverines received nine of the 16 first-place votes in the 2015-16 Big Ten Media Preseason Poll to finish with 87 total points. The Big Ten Media Preseason poll consists of voters from all six conference schools and nationally.
Votes were counted on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 scale with 6 points being given for a first place vote on down to 1 point for sixth.
Michigan finished third in 2014-15 behind Minnesota and Michigan State. The Wolverines, however, had a chance to win the regular season title entering the final weekend. After barely missing the NCAA Hockey Tournament by a game for the third consecutive season, head coach Red Berenson's team brings in a conference-high four freshmen named to the All-Big Ten Rookie Team led by forward Kyle Connor. Sophomore defenseman Zach Werenski, a 2015 top-10 NHL Draft pick, returns as well.
Minnesota, which won both the Big Ten regular season and conference tournament titles, finished a close second. The Gophers received the remaining 7 first place votes to end up 3 total points behind the Wolverines. Two Minnesota junior forwards - Justin Kloos and Hudson Fasching - were named to the All-Big Ten First Team.
Michigan State was predicted to finish third with senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand being the only player to be unanimously selected to the All-Big Ten first team. Hildebrand, the defending Big Ten Player of the Year and a first team All-American, was also named the Big Ten Media Preseason MVP.
Penn State was predicted to finish fourth ahead of fifth-place Ohio State, which was the most unpredictable team this season. Voters had the Buckeyes finishing anywhere from second place to sixth.
Wisconsin rounds out the conference in sixth place.
The Media Poll results match the results put out by the Big Ten Coaches Poll earlier Monday.
Below are the final results along with the All-Big Ten First, Second and Rookie Teams. 32 different players from all six schools received at least one vote on the All-Big Ten first or second team. 29 different first-year players and transfers received at least one vote on the All-Big Ten rookie team.
2015-16 is the third season of the Big Ten sponsoring men's hockey. Minnesota has won both regular season titles contested and was the conference's lone representative in the 2015 NCAA Hockey Tournament.
Predicted Order of Finish:
1. Michigan (9 first place votes), 87
2. Minnesota (7 first place votes), 84
3. Michigan State, 60
4. Penn State, 50
5. Ohio State, 38
6. Wisconsin, 17
MVP: Jake Hildebrand, Michigan State G (7 votes)
Others receiving votes: Zach Werenski, Michigan (4); JT Compher, Michigan (2); Justin Kloos, Minnesota (1); David Glen, Penn State (1); Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Michigan (1)
All-Big Ten First Team
F- Justin Kloos, Minnesota
F- JT Compher, Michigan
F-Hudson Fasching, Minnesota
D- Zach Werenski, Michigan
D- Michael Downing, Michigan
G- Jake Hildebrand, Michigan State*
All-Big Ten Second Team
F- David Goodwin, Penn State
F- MacKenzie MacEachern, Michigan State
F-Tyler Motte, Michigan
D- Travis Walsh, Michigan State
D- Luke Juha, Penn State
G- Christian Frey, Ohio State
All-Big Ten Rookie Team
F-Kyle Connor, Michigan
F- Tommy Novak, Minnesota
F- Brendan Warren, Michigan
D- Joe Cecconi, Michigan
D- Nicholas Boka, Michigan
G- Eric Schierhorn, Minnesota
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate