1. BU- Like there was any doubt who this pick would be. It really is the easiest pick of all of them. All the haters and critics will be silenced when they take the regular season crown this year. I don't care if there are 9 freshmen on this squad. I think most of them are in a position to contribute right away. They have alot of points to replace but the defense looks solid and I have no doubt that this team will find ways to score. Aslong as one of the freshman goalies steps up as a solid starter, this team will ve very tough to beat come March.
2. BC- They'll dive and flop around on the ice enough to score some goals on the PP and Millner will get hot at some point in the season and probably also lose some starts to Billett when he goes cold and hits a bad streak but York can coach them well enough to grab second.
4. UNH- University of No Hardware gets back into home ice this year behind sophomore goalie Casey DeSmyth and company. They seemed to get better as last season went on and coach Dick Umile can't go two years without a one and done in the NCAA tournament. It really isn't a college hockey season if you don't watch UNH lose in the NCAA regionals.
5. PC- This program continues to head in the right direction under Nate Leaman. They have a big time recruiting class coming with Jon Gillies in net and Mark Jankowski amonst others coming in. This program is investing in their facilities and seem ready to build off their first trip to HE semifinals in many years. I would not be surprised at all if they grabbed home ice from UNH. If any PC fans are reading this, do yourself a favor and stop only watching the basketball team get slaughtered in the Big East. Go watch the hockey team. They atleast have a chance to make the NCAA tournament unlike your hoops team.
6. Maine- They have enough coming back with Joey Diamond, Mike Cornell, and goalie Dan Sullivan to be a force and tough matchup in Hockey East. They also have prized recruit Devin Shore coming in. The thing is that I am only counting on Diamond being a force for half of the game until he commits his dumb penalty of the game and gets tossed or a 10 minute misconduct. The problem for Maine is that they don't have a Brian Flynn or Spencer Abbott to lean on when Diamond gets himself in the penalty box.
7. UMass- First year with a new coach will do this program some good. I have nothing against Toot Cahoon as a coach but it almost seemed the program needed a new leader after a few years of very similar results(finishing 8th in the conference). They have the talent to finish 6th this year if they buy into new Coach Michelletto's system. I expect Mike Pereira and Connor Sheary to have solid years on their top line and goalie Kevin Boyle to have a solid year in net.
8. Merrimack- Merrimack loses goalie Joe Cannatta along with the rest of a stong senior class. They will struggle scoring goals throughout the season and rely on forward Mike Collins for a healthy percentage of their points.
9. NU- When Vinny Saponari is your leader/captain and you have Chris Rawlings as your goalie, I will not pick you to have a good season. This is just common sense here. Rawlings is the definition of inconsistent and Saponari just sucks. 4th place Beanpot here comes NU. The Beanpot less streak reaches 25 this year. They should have a 25th anniversary celebration for that 1988 team just so they have something
10. Vermont- They had a tough off season between losing half the coaching staff, their prized recruits, and Sebastian Stalberg to the NHL. They are going to be relying hard on Connor Brickley to produce points and hope that one of their freshman goalies can come in and contribute right away. I just don't see a winning formula up in VT this year. Poor highlanders.