Howdy, folks. It’s that time of year again. Every so often The College Hockey Blog will be unveiling our Preseason top 16 teams, one by one. If you want to see the top 16 in order, and links to each individual preview, click the tab at the top of the page. Today’s team is #6 Princeton
Although Yale is the defending league champs, and is expected to be ranked 1st in the ECAC Preseason polls, I like Princeton a bit better. Returning is the backbone of the 7th best defense in college hockey last year, goalie Zane Kalemba, who had the 3rd best save percentage (.932) and 4th in goals against (1.82)
Princeton didn’t get a ton of scoring last year, as they were 30th nationally, behind teams like Union, Dartmouth and Bentley. The graduation of Lee Jubinville, 2008’s ECAC Hockey Player of the Year, will also hurt. But Dan Bartlett (16-12–28) took a big step forward last year and should continue – or increase – his production. But Bartlett tied for 32nd in the conference in points and was tied for 32nd in goals within conference play. The Tigers might not improve much in the way of scoring, but with Kalemba they might not need to.
Along with Kalemba and Bartlett, two more Seniors in Mark Magnowski and Jody Pederson will be back. These four have played in back to back NCAA Tournaments, and established a Princeton record for victories in a season each of the last two years, and add some statistical value to boot. Magnowski (11-8–19) and Pederson (5-14–19) add some value in addition to the value already discussed with Kalemba and Bartlett.
The player I will be watching this year is Cam McIntyre. He only had 6 points last year, but remember that he only played in 14 games last season due to a disc problem in his back. He had 13 goals and 31 points as a Sophomore, and his healthy return is a huge X Factor in giving Princeton yet another trip to the NCAA Tournament.