Minnesota at top of WCHA media poll; Bjugstad picked player of the year

Defending MacNaughton Cup champion Minnesota earned 24 of 25 first-place votes in the annual 94X WCHA Preseason Media Poll released Wednesday.

North Dakota had the other first-place vote.

A panel of 25 WCHA media members voted on the predicted order of finish and on several individual honors.

School (First-place votes)
1. Minnesota (24)
2. North Dakota (1)
3. Denver
4. Wisconsin
5. Minnesota-Duluth
6. St. Cloud State
7. Colorado College
8. Nebraska-Omaha
9. Michigan Tech
10. Minnesota State
11. Bemidji State
12. Alaska-Anchorage

Minnesota junior forward Nick Bjugstad was named preseason player of the year and for the second straight year, North Dakota’s Rocco Grimaldi was tabbed preseason rookie of the year. Grimaldi took a medical redshirt after an injury-plagued 2011-12 season.

Nick BjugstadFMinnesota
Mark ZengerleFWisconsin
Ben HanowskiFSt. Cloud State
Joey LaLeggiaDDenver
Nick JensenDSt. Cloud State
Sam BrittainGDenver
Josh ThorimbertGColorado College