Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, September 28, 2015
ROSEMONT, Ill. - Michigan was tabbed the favorite in the 2015-16 Big Ten hockey preseason coaches? poll, the conference announced on Monday. The coaches also selected a 12-member Preseason Players to Watch list, including four unanimous honorees.
Michigan completed the 2014-15 campaign with a conference record of 12-8-0-0 (22-15-0 overall) and reached the championship game of the 2015 Big Ten Tournament. Two-time defending Big Ten Champion Minnesota was selected second in the preseason poll, with Michigan State capturing third, Penn State taking fourth, Ohio State placing fifth and Wisconsin rounding out the poll in sixth.
The Preseason Players to Watch list features 12 standouts, with four unanimous selections in Michigan?s JT Compher and Zach Werenski, Michigan State?s Jake Hildebrand and Minnesota?s Hudson Fasching. Players from all six schools appeared on the Players to Watch list, led by Michigan with three honorees.
Hildebrand, who is on the Preseason Players to Watch List for the third straight season, was the 2015 Big Ten Player and Goaltender of the Year. He was joined on the All-Big Ten first team last season by Werenski, who was also a unanimous selection for the all-freshman team. Compher and Ohio State?s Nick Schilkey are among the players receiving conference preseason honors for the second consecutive year, with Compher a unanimous selections in both seasons.
The list includes eight players who were Academic All-Big Ten honorees last season in Michigan?s Compher, Michigan State?s Hildebrand and Mackenzie MacEachern, Minnesota?s Fasching and Justin Kloos, Ohio State?s Schilkey and Penn State?s David Goodwin and Eric Scheid.
2015-16 BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL
3. Michigan State
4. Penn State
5. Ohio State
2015-16 BIG TEN PRESEASON PLAYERS TO WATCH
JT Compher, F, Michigan*
Kyle Connor, F, Michigan
Zach Werenski, D, Michigan*
Jake Hildebrand, G, Michigan State*
Mackenzie MacEachern, F, Michigan State
Hudson Fasching, F, Minnesota*
Justin Kloos, F, Minnesota
Anthony Greco, F, Ohio State
Nick Schilkey, F, Ohio State
David Goodwin, F, Penn State
Eric Scheid, F, Penn State
Grant Besse, F, Wisconsin
* Unanimous selection