Rau named Big Ten player to watch, Gophers voted to finish second in Big Ten hockey

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  • September 19, 2013 - 1:49 PM

Kyle Rau is the Gophers’ lone unanimous Big Ten player to watch, as chosen by conference coaches in the first year of Big Ten hockey, and coach Don Lucia is expecting big things from his junior. He might even move Rau to center to help get him get the puck more.

“That was always his natural position. We need Kyle to score. He’s our Leading returning scorer and we need the puck on his stick as much as we possibly can,” Lucia said Thursday morning at Big Ten media day. “And that why we’re really strongly considering moving him back to center so he has more touches.”

With Rau, Adam Wilcox, Mike Reilly as the Gophers players to watch, Big Ten coaches voted the Gophers to finish second in the inaugural season. Wisconsin is projected to finish first.

Lucia also addressed losing five players to the NHL and the impact that will have in his team. However, he’s seen that his team can make plays in the few days of practice, but said that will need to translate into five-on-five.


1.             Wisconsin
2.             Minnesota
3.             Michigan
T4.           Michigan State
T4.           Ohio State
6.             Penn State



Mac Bennett, D, Michigan

Ryan Dzingel, F, Ohio State

Alex Guptill, F, Michigan

Max McCormick, F, Ohio State

Matt Berry, F, Michigan State

Nic Kerdiles, F, Wisconsin

Jake Hildebrand, G, Michigan State

Jake McCabe, D, Wisconsin

Kyle Rau, F, Minnesota*

Michael Mersch, F, Wisconsin

Mike Reilly, D, Minnesota

Mark Zengerle, F, Wisconsin

Adam Wilcox, G, Minnesota


The National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which is holding its media day at Target Center today, also announced it’s preseason ranking.

NCHC Preseason Poll

1. Miami (7) 115

2. North Dakota (5) 109

3. St. Cloud State (4) 99

4. Denver 66

5. Western Michigan 61

6. Minnesota Duluth 43

7. Colorado College 42

8. Nebraska Omaha 41

More to come after 1-on-1 interviews with players and coaches, which is happening now.

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