Mittelstadt's Gophers land high in Preseason Poll

The first USCHO NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey poll was released Monday. As expected, the top 20 is littered with teams that have Sabres prospects playing key roles.

Casey Mittelstadt will jump into a big role for a University of Minnesota club expected to win the Big Ten Hockey title.

Will Borgen will play big defensive minutes along with hot free agent commodity Jimmy Schuldt for a St. Cloud State club looking to challenge defending national champion Denver for the NCHC crown.

In Hockey East, defenseman Jacob Bryson (2017, fourth round) will look to help fill the offensive shoes of departed Jake Walman in Providence, while Casey Fitzgerald and Christopher Brown will serve as captains for an always competitive Boston College squad that will try to chase down the favorites at Boston University.

The rankings:

1 Denver (48)
2 Boston University
3 Minnesota -- Casey Mittelstadt
4 Harvard ( 1)
5 UMass Lowell
6 Minnesota Duluth (1)
7 North Dakota
8 Notre Dame
9 St. Cloud State -- Will Borgen, Judd Peterson
10 Penn State -- Brett Murray
11 Providence -- Jacob Bryson
12 Wisconsin -- Linus Weissbach
13 Boston College -- Casey Fitzgerald, Christopher Brown
14 Quinnipiac
15 Cornell
16 Union
17 Air Force
18 Minnesota State
19 Ohio State
20 Northeastern
20 Western Michigan

Others receiving votes: Vermont 119, Michigan Tech 60, Bemidji State 52, Clarkson 45, Robert Morris 39, Miami 37, Michigan 24, St. Lawrence 18, Omaha 17, Bowling Green 16, Yale 11, Ferris State 5, Brown 1 (Max Willman), Canisius 1, Dartmouth 1, New Hampshire 1.

Among those not receiving votes were Connecticut (Philip Nyberg) and Massachusetts (Ivan Chukarov).

As a reminder, I posted a 2017-18 NCAA Preview back in August that may serve as a decent primer with collegiate exhibition tilts set to kick off this weekend.

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