With the Golden Gophers men's hockey season set to begin in early October, the first national polls were released Wednesday.
College Hockey News and Let's Play Hockey both ranked the Gophers No. 6 in their preseason polls.
Here's what College Hockey News said about the Gophers.
Despite the loss of big-name players like Erik Haula, Mark Alt, Nate Schmidt, Nick Bjugstad and Zach Budish, consider the Gophers a strong contender. They boast an incredibly deep, albeit inexperienced, back end led by sophomores Brady Skjei and Mike Reilly, while freshman Jake Bischoff will challenge for time immediately as a capable offensive quarterback. In net, Adam Wilcox is back and looks to build off a first season that saw him rank among the national leaders in every major category. Kyle Rau and Nate Condon will lead the campaign up front, though the junior trio of Sam Warning, Travis Boyd and Seth Ambroz should help fans forget some of the lost firepower. Expect to see a lot of Hudson Fasching's name on scoresheets this season, as the 6-foot-3 power forward is built to dominate.
The Star Tribune reports the Gophers will likely be ranked No. 1 or 2 in the inaugural Big Ten poll.