Here’s the College Hockey preseason top 10. s/t to Joe Meloni of CHN.
3. St. Cloud State
4. Ohio State
5. Boston College
7. Boston University
8. Penn State
9. Notre Dame
10. North Dakota — There are about six to seven teams with a rightful claim to this final spot. Princeton, Cornell, Minnesota and a few others had just as good if not better seasons than North Dakota did in 2017-18.
Few of those teams have the combination of returning talent and potential difference-makers coming in quite like the Fighting Hawks, though.
The early departures of Shane Gersich and Christian Wolanin create some big holes. Peter Thome will need to prove he can be a true No. 1, lest freshman Adam Scheel emerge as the option for Brad Berry.
North Dakota gets penciled into these lists every year for a reason. They’re talented, of course, but the program’s coaches, whether it’s Berry or Dave Hakstol before him, identify players who want to compete and win just as much as they find elite talent. They’re always hard to play against. They’re always in the mix when the season ends. This year won’t be any different.