The NCHC announced the results of their preseason media poll on Wednesday, and defending national champions Denver were picked as the consensus favorite to win the league for a second consecutive season.
The Pioneers received 19 of 23 first place votes with North Dakota, the team they split last year’s league title with, receiving the remaining four votes.
Here are the full results of the poll:
2022-23 NCHC Preseason Media Poll
- Denver – 180 points (19 first-place votes)
- North Dakota – 160 (4)
- Minnesota Duluth – 136
- St. Cloud State – 115
- Western Michigan – 86
- Colorado College – 64
- Omaha – 59
- Miami - 28
The league seems to break down nicely in tiers. Denver and North Dakota competing for the top of the league, with Minnesota Duluth also in the running, but probably not able to hang with them over the course of a full season.
St. Cloud State and Western Michigan both lost a lot from last season when they were loaded with super seniors. Middle of the pack is a safe pick, but both could slide in either direction depending on how they’re able to reload.
In the bottom third of the league, there seems to be considerable faith that Colorado College will at least make the jump to the top of the bottom. That would be considered considerable progress for Kris Mayotte’s rebuild of the Tigers, which, along with their new arena, could give them some nice momentum.
It should be another competitive season for what is college hockey’s toughest, deepest league, and if history is any indication, there are very good odds that this year’s national champion once again comes out of this group.