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Minnesota State Picked First in WCHA Coaches/Media Poll

The media picked MInnesota State's Matt Leitner as the preseason player of the year.
The media picked MInnesota State's Matt Leitner as the preseason player of the year.
Matt Christians

The preseason polls for both the coaches and media for the upcoming WCHA season were released today, and Minnesota State was picked in the favorite in the conference in both polls.

First here, here was the media poll conducted by Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press:

2014-15 Mankato Free Press WCHA Men’s Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Rk           Team (1st place votes)          Points
1.            Minnesota State (9)                       81          
2.            Ferris State (1)                                  67
3.            Michigan Tech                                  64
4.            Bowling Green                                 57
5.            Alaska                                                  44
6.            Northern Michigan                         40
7.            Alaska Anchorage                           38
8.            Bemidji State                                    33
9.            Lake Superior State                        17
10.          Alabama Huntsville                           9


Coaches couldn't vote their own team for first place, so Mike Hastings was the lone coach to give Ferris State a first-place vote.

The coaches tabbed Ferris State goalie CJ Motte as the preseason player of the year. Motte received four votes, with Minnesota State's Matt Leitner receiving three, and Minnesota State's Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Alaska-Anchorage's Scott Allen, and Alaska-Fairbanks Colton Parayko all receiving a single vote.

Newcomer of the year was split between Minnesota State's CJ Franklin and Brad McClure, with Bemidji State's Brett Beauvais and Alaska-Anchorage's Olivier Mantha each receiving a vote.

Here is the coaches preseason all-conference team:

Preseason All-WCHA Team

Forwards: Tyler Morley, Jr., Alaska; Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Sr., Minnesota State; Matt Leitner, Sr., Minnesota State
Defensemen: Colton Parayko, Jr., Alaska; Zach Palmquist, Sr., Minnesota State
Goaltender: C.J. Motte, Sr., Ferris State

Others receiving votes: Forwards—Scott Allen, Sr., Alaska Anchorage; Blake Tatchell, Jr., Alaska Anchorage; Justin Buzzeo, Sr., Ferris State; David Johnstone, Sr., Michigan Tech; Tanner Kero, Sr., Michigan Tech; Alex Petan, Jr., Michigan Tech; Blake Pietila, Sr., Michigan Tech. Defensemen—Austin Coldwell, Sr., Alaska Anchorage; Matt Prapavessis, Sr., Bemidji State; Jason Binkley, Sr., Ferris State; Shane Hanna, So., Michigan Tech. Goaltenders—Cole Huggins, So., Minnesota State.

The results were largely the same in the media poll, conducted this year by Jack Hittinger of the Bemidji Pioneer.

2014-15 Bemidji Pioneer WCHA Men’s Hockey Preseason Media Poll
Rk           Team (1st place votes)          Points
1.            Minnesota State (23)                  256          
2.            Ferris State (4)                               226
3.            Bowling Green                               180
4.            Michigan Tech                                178
5.            Alaska                                                163
6.            Alaska Anchorage                         128
7.            Northern Michigan                       112
8.            Bemidji State                                  101
9.            Lake Superior State                        60
10.          Alabama Huntsville                         26

And here's how the media voted on individual awards:

Preseason WCHA Player of the Year: Matt Leitner, Sr., F, Minnesota State

Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year: Mark Friedman, D, Bowling Green

Preseason All-WCHA Team

Forwards: Tyler Morley, Jr., Alaska; Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Sr., Minnesota State; Matt Leitner, Sr., Minnesota State
Defensemen: Colton Parayko, Jr., Alaska; Shane Hanna, So., Michigan Tech
Goaltender: C.J. Motte, Sr., Ferris State