The annual WCHA coaches' preseason hockey poll was released on Wednesday night.
The Gophers, as expected, are picked to repeat as the MacNaughton Cup champions. They received 11 of a possible 12 first-place votes. North Dakota got the other one and was picked to finish second. The poll:
42nd annual Grand Forks Herald coaches poll
1. Minnesota 121 (11)
2. North Dakota 110 (1)
3. Denver 91
4. SCSU 90
5. Wisconsin 70
6. Duluth 69
7. Colorado College 56
8t. Omaha 51
8t. Michigan Tech 51
10. MSU-Mankato 37
11. Bemidji State 31
12. Anchorage 15
Preseason player of the year:
Nick Bjugstad, F, Minnesota (8); Mark Zengerle, F, Wisconsin (2); Matt White, F, Omaha (1); Ben Hanowski, F, SCSU (1)
Preseason rookie of the year:
Rocco Grimaldi, F, North Dakota (7); Mike Reilly, D, Minnesota (3); Nic Kerdiles, F, Wisconsin (1); Andrew Welinski, D, Duluth (1)
Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow @RomanStrib on Twitter. E-mail Roman.
Thousands of refugees are navigating hurdles of a new life. And front-line workers in Minnesota, one of the country's resettlement hubs, are poised to take in 2,530 refugees, more than during any year in the past decade.