CCHA Preview


1. Notre Dame

Naturally my national preseason #1 is my CCHA #1 as well, as the Irish boast a young but amazingly talented roster that went to the Frozen Four last year. TJ Tynan and Anders Lee form one of the best 1-2 combos in the entire country, and as if the team needed more help, super recruit Robbie Russo should provide a big impact.

2. Miami

Andy Miele and Carter Camper have graduated and Connor Murphy elected to go to the WHL, but Miami still has a group that could challenge Notre Dame for the CCHA title. Reilly Smith is now the main guy there, and Leafs first rounder Tyler Biggs should provide some help up front. In net, Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp

will be perhaps the best tandem in the country if they get back to their 2010 form.

3. Western Michigan

Western returns 10 of its top 11 scorers, and Chase Balisy has the talent to be one of the best players in the entire country. The big question for the Broncos will be how they replace Jerry Kuhn in net.

4. Michigan

The Wolverines return 16 players from the defending CCHA champs. Chris Brown could have a big year up front and I like Kevin Lynch to have a nice year as well. On the blueline, Jon Merril’s suspention will leave him out for a month, or it could see him leave Michigan all together if he decides to go to the OHL. Also watch for Brennan Serville, a 2011 pick of the Winnipeg Jets.

5. Alaska

The Nanooks disappointed a bit last year, but have one of the better goalies in the conference in Scott Greenham and one of the better forwards in Andy Taranto.

6. Northern Michigan

A trio of Seniors – Tyler Gron

, Justin Florek and Andrew Cherniwchan – will lead Northern Michigan, and they’ll hope to get similar play in net from Reid Ellingson.

7. Ohio State

The Buckeyes lose a lot up front, including Winnipeg Jet John Albert, but still have Cal Heeter, one of the nation’s best, in net.

8. Ferris State

Jerry Kuhn is gone, and Ferris doesn’t have much scoring to cover that up. Travis Ouellette is by far Ferris’s best.

9. Lake State

The Lakers will try to get as much scoring as they can from Domenic Monardo and company to try to give Kevin Kapalka, one of the best Freshmen in the country last year, as much help as they can.

10. Michigan State

Torey Krug is one of the best defensemen in the country and both Drew Palmisano and Will Yanakeff have the ability to be shutdown type guys in net, but I don’t think State will score enough to make it matter.

11. Bowling Green

The Falcons will need Andrew Hammond to be great in net, as no BGSU player scored in double digits last year.