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2017-2018 Big Ten Preseason Poll

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big ten tournament Nathan Wells

The Big Ten has officially declared this to be “Big Ten Hockey Week”, which means it’s time to start previewing the upcoming hockey season and also that nobody was playing video games this week, I guess.

To kick things off, the conference announced their preseason poll, as well as a number of “players to watch” from each of the league’s seven teams.

Here is how the coaches poll shook out this season:

2017-18 BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL

  1. Minnesota
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Penn State
  5. Ohio State
  6. Michigan
  7. Michigan State

They may as well have sent the ballots out with spots one and seven already filled in. I don’t think there’s much argument about Michigan finishing in sixth either. The Wolverines are still a year or two away from really turning things around.

Spots two through five are very interesting. They seem pretty interchangeable to me, and in fact, I did have them completely reversed—2. Ohio State 3. Penn State 4. Wisconsin 5. Notre Dame—in my predictions. But like I said, I expect that grouping of four to be very close throughout the season.

And here was the Big Ten’s Players to Watch list:

2017-18 BIG TEN PRESEASON WATCH LIST

Quinn Hughes, D, MICH, Will Lockwood, F, MICH, Josh Norris, F, MICH Ryan Lindgren, D, MINN, Casey Mittelstadt, F, MINN, Rem Pitlick, F, MINN TYLER SHEEHY, F, MINN, Jake Evans, F, ND, Jordan Gross, D, ND, Andrew Oglevie, F, ND, Mason Jobst, F, OSU, Matthew Weis, F, OSU, Peyton Jones, G, PSU, Denis Smirnov, F, PSU, TRENT FREDERIC, F, WIS, Kyle Hayton, G, WIS, Cameron Hughes, F, WIS

Minnesota’s Tyler Sheehy and Wisconsin’s Trent Frederic were unanimous selections by the coaches.

Because I’m a stubborn traditionalist, and because it makes slightly more sense now that the league is up to seven teams, I categorized my preseason picks into two all-league teams, and an all-rookie team.

First Team All-Big Ten

F-Mason Jobst, Ohio State

F-Tyler Sheehy, Minnesota

F-Trent Frederic, Wisconsin

D-Jordan Gross, Notre Dame

D-Ryan Lindgren, Minnesota

G-Kyle Hayton, Wisconsin

Second Team All-Big Ten

F-Denis Smirnov, Penn State

F-Leon Bristedt, Minnesota

F-Dakota Joshua, Ohio State

D-Zach Osburn, Michigan State

D-Luke Martin, Michigan

G-Eric Schierhorn, Minnesota

All-Rookie Team

F-Josh Norris, Michigan

F-Casey Mittelstadt, Minnesota

F-Linus Weissbach, Wisconsin

D-Quinn Hughes, Michigan

D-Wyatt Kalynuk, Wisconsin

G-Tommy Nappier, Ohio State

Player of the Year: Tyler Sheehy, Minnesota

Rookie of the Year: Casey Mittelstadt, Minnesota