Monday, September 21, 2015

How I voted

Besides compiling The Free Press' WCHA Preseason Coaches Poll, I also had a vote in the Bemidji Pioneer's Media Poll. In the interest of full disclosure, here is my ballot (with some commentary):

Predicted order of finish:
1. Minnesota State
The champs are deep and their D might be better, although goaltending will be a question mark.

2. Michigan Tech
The Huskies finished one point shy of the Mavericks last year and might have more back.

3. Bowling Green
The Falcons have nearly everyone back and might be motivated by its narrow miss of the NCAAs.

4. Alaska
The Nanooks will miss the early departure of D Colton Parayko but they have top-four talent.

5. Bemidji State
Another team that has holes to fill on D, losing Matt Prapavessis, but will compete for home ice.

6. Northern Michigan
Injuries derailed the Wildcats' season last year. If healthy, there's a lot of potential in Marquette.

7. Ferris State
C.J. Motte isn't in goal anymore, which could mean a big slip if the Bulldogs don't score.

8. Alabama Huntsville
With goalie Carmine Guerrero, coach Mike Corbett is building something with the Chargers.

9. Alaska Anchorage
The Seawolves took one step forward in '13-14 and two back last year. Still work to be done.

10. Lake Superior State
It will be interesting to see how the Lakers do in coach Damon Whitten's second season.

Preseason player of the year: Tyler Morley, F, Alaska
Tough call here with Bryce Gervais and Alex Petan also considered, but Morley was 14-19—33 in league play last year, sandwiched between All-Americans Tanner Kero of Tech and Matt Leitner of MSU.

Preseason newcomer of the year: Jimmy Mullin, Minnesota State (transfer)
Since this award wasn't limited to incoming freshmen, I went with the senior and former Miami player. History shows he has potential to be a top-six forward for the Mavericks.

Preseason team
F-Tyler Morley, Alaska
F-Bryce Gervais, Minnesota State
F-Alex Petan, Michigan Tech
D-Casey Nelson, Minnesota State
D-Mark Friedman, Bowling Green
G-Jamie Phillips, Michigan Tech
Mentioned all of those forwards in my player-of-the-year selection. Casey Nelson is one of the top-scoring D in the league. Friedman had an impressive freshman year (although it came down to him and Tech's Shane Hanna). Phillips has a shot at being the best player in the league.

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