Minnesota State, the defending MacNaughton Cup and two-time reigning Broadmoor Cup champion, has been tabbed as the favorite to win the WCHA 2015-16 regular-season conference title in both the Mankato Free Press WCHA Coaches’ and the Bemidji Pioneer WCHA Media preseason polls.
The same four schools – Minnesota State (first), Bowling Green (second / third), Michigan Tech (third / second) and Bemidji State (fourth) – finished 1-4 in both the coaches’ and media polls, with the Falcons and Huskies flip-flopping in the two rankings.
A pair of senior forwards – Alaska’s Tyler Morley (coaches) and Minnesota State’s Bryce Gervais (media) split the Preseason Player of the Year votes. Morley finished second in the league scoring race last season with 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) in conference play, while Gervais led the league with 27 goals overall and 20 in WCHA contests.
Ferris State freshman forward Corey Mackin, the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s most valuable player last season for his play with the Coquitlam Express (British Columbia Hockey League), earned the coaches’ nod as WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year. Media analysts tabbed Bowling Green freshman Stephen Baylis as its Newcomer of the Year, after the forward took home Central Canada Hockey League MVP honors with the Carleton Place Canadians.