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Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey: Minnesota Tops the Pre-Season Big Ten Coaches' Poll

Hannah Foslien

The Big Ten Conference announced this morning the Minnesota Golden Gophers have been chosen as the preseason favorite to be the conference champions.  Last year, the Gophers posted 14-3-3 conference record and sealed the first-ever conference championship by beating the Michigan Wolverines in overtime as Yost Arena.

Kyle Rau potted the clinching goal, and the Gophers Captain was a unanimous selection to the Coaches' preseason Players to Watch list.

Gophers goaltender Adam Wilcox and defenseman Mike Reilly were also both unanimous selections to the list.  Wilcox was a Mike Richter Award finalist and the Big Ten Player of the year last season.  Reilly was a first-team All American last year.

Defenseman Brady Skjei and forward Sam Warning are also included on the Players to Watch list, though their selection was not unanimous.

Minnesota has more players on the list than any other school, with five.  Ohio State has the next largest number with four.

Voting totals were not included in the announcement, but it would not be surprising if Minnesota was the unanimous selection as the preseason favorite.  The Gophers return all but one un-graduated skater to the lineup.  A number of departures left a dearth of known-asset talent at Wisconsin, and Michigan underperformed their talent level last year.

Expectations will be high for the Golden Gophers this year, and rightfully so.  Our coverage of Gophers hockey is going to kick into high gear starting next week.  Get ready for another great season of Golden Gopher hockey!


1. Minnesota

2. Michigan

3. Wisconsin

4. Ohio State

5. Michigan State

6. Penn State


JT Compher, F, Michigan*

Andrew Copp, F, Michigan*

Matt Berry, F, Michigan State

Jake Hildebrand, G, Michigan State

Kyle Rau, F, Minnesota*

Mike Reilly, D, Minnesota*

Brady Skjei, D, Minnesota

Sam Warning, F, Minnesota

Adam Wilcox, G, Minnesota*

Drew Brevig, D, Ohio State

Christian Frey, G, Ohio State

Tanner Fritz, F, Ohio State

Nick Schilkey, F, Ohio State

Luke Juha, D, Penn State

Joseph LaBate, F, Wisconsin

Joel Rumpel, G, Wisconsin*

* Unanimous selection