BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – November 9, 2020 – Defending WCHA regular-season champion Minnesota State is the unanimous favorite to repeat as league champions, garnering all 10 first-place votes in the WCHA Preseason Media Poll.
The Mavericks topped the Media Poll with 100 points. Bemidji State (89) was second, picking up nine of 10 second place votes, followed by Bowling Green (76), Northern Michigan (68) and Michigan Tech (67) to complete the top five.
Lake Superior State (44), Alaska (40), Ferris State (33), Alaska Anchorage (21) and Alabama Huntsville (12) round out the poll.
The media poll voting board was made up of one representative from each of the league's 10 markets.
Minnesota State junior goaltender Dryden McKay was the media pick as WCHA Preseason Player of the Year, receiving six first place votes and 25 points in the 3-2-1 voting scale. Northern Michigan's Griffin Loughran was second with 21 points and four first place vote. Bemidji State's Owen Sillinger finished third with six points.
Michigan Tech freshman Carson Bantle was the media choice in a tight race for Preseason Rookie of the Year, collecting 16 points and five first place votes. Minnesota State's Akito Hirose finished second with 14 points and two first place votes. Bemidji State's Aaron Myers and Minnesota State's Ondrej Pavel and Tanner Edwards also received first place votes.
The media's All-WCHA Team featured Lougran, Bowling Green's Connor Ford and Bemidji State's Owen Sillinger at forward with BSU's Elias Rosén and Ferris State's Jake Willets at defenseman and McKay the unanimous choice at goaltender.
|2020-21 WCHA Preseason Media Poll|
|Rk||Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|1.||Minnesota State (10)||100|
|6.||Lake Superior State||44|
|Predicted order of finish. Based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.|
WCHA Preseason Media Player of the Year (Votes)
Dryden McKay, Jr., G, Minnesota State (25)
Others receiving votes: Griffin Loughran, Jr., F, Northern Michigan (21); Owen Sillinger, Jr., F, Bemidji State (5); Zach Driscoll, Sr., G, Bemidji State (2); Brandon Kruse, Sr., F, Bowling Green (2); Nathan Smith, So., F, Minnesota State (2); Connor Ford, Sr., F, Bowling Green (1); Colin Swoyer, Jr., D, Michigan Tech (1).
Based on a 3-2-1 scale.
WCHA Preseason Media Rookie of the Year (Votes)
Carson Bantle, F, Michigan Tech (16)
Others Receiving Votes: Akito Hirose, D, Minnesota State (14); Tanner Edwards, F, Minnesota State (3); Connor Gregga, F, Minnesota State (3); Anton Malmstrom, D, Bowling Green (3); Lukas Sillinger, F, Bemidji State (3); Aaron Myers, F, Bemidj State (3); Ondrej Pavel, F, Minnesota State (3); Grant Johnson, F, Northern Michigan (3); Jed Pietila, D, Michigan Tech (2); Jake Livingstone, D, Minnesota State (2); Jett Jungels, F, Northern Michigan (2); Logan Stein, G, Ferris State (1); Joshua Wildauer, F, Lake Superior State (1); Mack Byers, F, Northern Michigan (1).
Based on a 3-2-1 scale.
Preseason Media All-WCHA Team (Votes)
Forwards: Griffin Loughran, Jr. Northern Michigan (10); Connor Ford, Sr., Bowling Green (7); Owen Sillinger, Jr., Bemidji State (5).
Others Receiving Votes: Brandon Kruse, Sr., Bowling Green (3) Lucas Sowder, So., Minnesota State (2); Nathan Smith, So., Minnesota State (1); Jared Spooner, Sr., Minnesota State (1); Trenton Bliss, Jr., Michigan Tech (1)
Defensemen: Elias Rosén, So., Bemidji State (9); Jake Willets, So., Ferris State (6).
Others Receiving Votes: Chris Jandric, Jr., Alaska (2); Colin Swoyer, Jr., Michigan Tech (1); Tim Theochardis, Jr., Bowling Green (1); Jack McNeely, Sr., Minnesota State (1).
Goaltender: Dryden McKay, Jr., Minnesota State (10).
Others Receiving Votes: None
2020-21 WCHA Media Poll Voters
The voting board for the 2020-21 WCHA Media Poll consisted of one media representative from each Men's League market.
Alabama Huntsville: Justin Bradford, Penalty Box Radio
Alaska Anchorage: Kurt Haider, Seawolf Radio
Alaska: Bruce Cech, Nanook Radio
Bemidji State: Austin Monteith, Bemidji Pioneer
Bowling Green: Nick Piotrowicz, Toledo Blade
Ferris State: John Raffel, Big Rapids Pioneer
Lake Superior State: Bill Crawford, LSSU Radio
Michigan Tech: Adam Niemi, Houghton Daily Mining Gazette
Minnesota State: Kevin Dudley, Mankato Free Press
Northern Michigan: Ryan Stieg, Marquette Mining Journal
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Men’s League
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, will mark its 69th season of men's competition in 2020-21. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.