Preseason Rankings: Just Missed


It’s that time of year again! Starting tomorrow (probably) I will begin rolling out my preseason top 16. In the meantime, here are the schools who just missed the cut (in no particular order).

New Hampshire

The Wildcats will lean heavily on Senior goaltender Matt DiGirolamo, who was 3rd in Hockey East last year with a .931 save percentage. New Hampshire had the 2nd best scoring defense in the league last year, and they’ll need to be that good again to challenge for top spot in Hockey East as they lose their top 4 scorers, including Blake Kessel who left school early. If you’re looking for someone to fill his shoes (er, skates) take a peek at Junior Brett Kostolansky, who had 5 goals and 19 points last year.


No Chase Polacek and no Allan York for the Engineers this year, but a solid defensive corps led by Hobey sleeper Nick Bailen will keep them in games. Of note, Freshman Zach Schroeder, from St. Thomas Academy, is the brother of former Gopher and current Canucks farmhand Jordan and while he doesn’t have the same pro prospects he is a solid bet to be a very good collegian.

Air Force

Their top two point getters, including Jacques Lamoureux (24-20–44) are gone, but the Falcons seem like pretty good favorites in Atlantic Hockey. They made the NCAA tournament and took Yale to overtime despite mostly starting a Freshman goalie who had a .899 save% in conference play. I’m betting he’s not that bad (and if he is, sheer luck will probably get him over .900) so the Falcons have more room for error. They scored 3.93 goals per game in AHA play last year, by far the best in the league.


Despite finishing 7h in Hockey East last year I have a good feeling about this year’s Catamounts team. They graduate 7 Seniors, but it’s easy to argue that only Jack Downing (13 goals) will be missed a tremendous amount. Beyond that, 11 of their regular roster players were Freshmen and Sophomores last year, and the added experience should help their special teams, which was in the lower half of Hockey East last year. Also of note: Vermont welcomes transfer Brett Bruneteau, who was on last year’s North Dakota team which advanced to the Frozen Four. He is eligible immediately because he has already graduated from UND.


With Stephane Da Costa signing a free agent deal with the Ottawa Senators, the Warriors have fallen off the map a bit. But they shouldn’t. True, they lost their top three scorers, but they also bring back their next 11 highest, including four who had double digit goal totals. Merrimack was probably the first team out of my top 16, but with their experience coming back and Joe Cannata (.913 save%) in net, the Warriors look the best of the second tier in Hockey East.