The Minnesota Golden Gophers. We have some guys who were on championship teams. Guyer, Tallackson, Sertich, Harrington and others but none of them were main guys. Then you have hungry guys. Irman, Potulny mainly. Plus a crop of freshmen looking for recognition. This will be a well coached, offensive juggernaut that is hungry. Plus if we make it to the reginals we will play at Mariucci. And the biggest issue. We have a goalie that has played in the WCHA and the NCAA reginals before.
I had to go with Michigan. They have to many weapons and are to good a hockey club overall to not be considered a fav this year. Of course come playoffs anything can happen but Michigan is gonna be a tough team to be this year.
Michigan makes sense for all the reasons mentioned but I can't get out of my head how badly they were outskated in the NCAA Regionals last year by BC. Every year is different but I'll stick with BC as the team to beat.
ECAC- I think it's going to be a good battle between Dartmouth, Cornell, Colgate and Havard. If Cornell can score some big goals their defense/goaltending should take care of the rest. Really look forward to what Darmouth does this year.
HE- I would think Maine will take it this year, although BC has 2 very impressive freshman in Bertram and Scheinder. Can't wait to see what they do this year if they get more ice time then Pineault got.
CCHA- Michigan indeed looks very strong this year.I look forward to seeing Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik as well.
Altantic- Still pissed that Holy Cross didn't get into the ECAC. And I really don't follow this conference at all outside of HC, but hopefully they win the conference this year led by Frenette. Hopefully the Habs keep an eye on him this year, even though he's small, might be of some help to Hamilton next year or the year after.
WCA- has to be the toughest to call imo. Denver, ND, MD, Minnesota, Wisconsin, all should be strong I would think. DU, ND, MD, MU all have lost key players so it's hard to say how they will overcome this. I look forward to seeing Paul Stastny at DU, I only saw him play once in the USHL, but I was very impressed. Wisconsin has a young team from the looks of it, but they have one of the better goalies in the NCAA. It will be interesting to see how Klubertanz and Likens do on defense. Klubertanz is small but seems to have good offensive skills. Minnesota Dulth looks good with Schwabe and Stapleton, both guys I hope the Habs keep an eye on as well.
UND- Zajac-Stafford line rules. Didnt lose one D-man its a force
I think the teams with goaltending and that is Michigan and Maine. Michigan is just scary this year. North Dakota will notwin it because Parise > Zajac add that with the loss of a great coach and that spells failure. Minnesota has a poor group of forwards.
Went with Michigan. Not only are they a complete team with few (if any) weaknesses, but they have some players with things to prove (e.g. Nystrom & Tambs).
BC would also be a good choice. After that, there are 4 or 5 other teams that can make legitimate claims. Hell, not too many people (the city of Denver included) would have thought the Pioneers could have pulled it off before the season started last year.
Saxon Sports Information and Research
I wouldn't say the forwards for MN are poor. All of there skilled forwards are rather young. I'd say youth will hinder the Gopher's the most this year, atleast in the early part of the season.
They won't be National Champions though.
Agreed! I think Chucko is going to be a hell of a player. I also think Ryan Potulny is going to have a big year. He barely got to show what he had last year because of the knee injury that kept him out most of the season.