I thought I would share my ballot, along with a few thoughts.
First, the order of finish for the inaugural season of the NCHC. What follows is the order I have the teams on my ballot, with the poll results in parenthesis.
1. Miami (1)
2. North Dakota (2)
3. St. Cloud State (3)
4. Western Michigan (t-6)
5. Denver (4)
6. Minnesota-Duluth (5)
7. Colorado College (t-6)
8. Nebraska-Omaha (8)
Obviously, I think more highly of Western Michigan than most of the poll participants. Check out my NCHC Season Preview and Predictions to find out why I’ve got them in the top half of the league.
My preseason All-Conference Team:
Forwards: Austin Czarnik (Miami), Alexander Krushelnyski (CC), Ryan Walters (UNO)
Defensemen: Joey LaLeggia (DU), Dillon Simpson (UND)
Goaltender: Ryan McKay (Miami)
The only place where my ballot differs from the poll results is that UND forward Rocco Grimaldi makes the all-conference team over Krushelnyski. For me, it’s close, but I went with the senior who has appeared in 122 NCAA contests already (to Rocco’s 40) and scored seven more points than Grimaldi last season. (Krushelnyski 15-28-43; Grimaldi 13-23-36).
Player of the Year: Austin Czarnik (Miami)
Czarnik was named the preseason player of the year with 8 of 16 votes.
Rookie of the Year: Adam Tambellini (UND)
Tambellini came in second in the voting with 4 votes; Dominic Toninato (Minnesota-Duluth) collected 6 votes.
Defenseman of the Year: Joey LaLeggia (DU)
LaLeggia ran away with this one with 10 votes.
Breakout Player of the Year: Tony Cameranesi (UMD)
Joey Benik (St. Cloud State) was tabbed as the preseason player of the year with 5 votes; 11 other players received a single vote.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Please feel free to add your own ballots in the comments section below.