Coming off a season in which it won the Big Ten postseason championship, Wisconsin opens the year ranked No. 10 in the USCHO.com poll.
In total, three Big Ten teams found themselves in the top 10, including Minnesota at No. 1 and Michigan at No. 8. Ohio State and Michigan State also received votes in the poll.
The Badgers lost 10 seniors to graduation and two underclassmen, Jake McCabe and Nic Kerdiles, to the NHL.
In all honesty, the No. 10 ranking seems a bit aggressive for a team featuring 11 incoming freshmen, including seven newcomers at forward. The Badgers must rely on veteran goaltenders Joel Rumpel and Landon Peterson if they are to make a third-straight trip to the NCAA tournament this season.
UW opens the 2014-15 season Oct. 4 with the first official practice day and the Red-White Scrimmage in De Pere, Wisconsin. Wisconsin's first official game is Oct. 10 at Alaska, while the Badgers kick off the home slate Nov. 7 at the Kohl Center against North Dakota.
|USCHO DIVISION I MEN'S ICE HOCKEY POLL|
|RANK||TEAM||FIRST PLACE VOTES||POINTS|
|7||St. Cloud State||596|
|Others receiving votes: Minnesota-Duluth 87, Ohio State 76, Yale 57, Mercyhurst 54, Vermont 51, Robert Morris 27, Michigan Tech 26, Western Michigan 14, Dartmouth 13, Bowling Green 11, Michigan State 8, Nebraska-Omaha 8, Rensselaer 5, Alaska 4, Harvard 4, Air Force 3, Brown 3, Clarkson 2, Maine 2, Massachusetts 2, Niagara 1, St. Lawrence 1.|
For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter -- Follow @AndyJohnsonB5Q
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)