The Big Ten is set to return as arguably the best conference in college hockey, and according to the preseason coaches’ poll, Penn State is set to be the best team in that conference.
The Nittany Lions were selected as the preseason conference favorites in the Big Ten coaches’ poll. Historically picked in the No. 4-5 range, this marks the first time Gadowsky’s squad will enter the season as the favorite.
The Nittany Lions went 22-15-2 last season, finishing fourth in the conference. They fell in the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game against Notre Dame, narrowly missing out on a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State returns nearly all of its impact players, however, including Evan Barratt and Alex Limoges, who earned preseason All-Big Ten first team honors. Defensemen Cole Hults (second team) and Kris Myllari (honorable mention) also received preseason honors.
The Nittany Lions also open the season at No. 13 in the USCHO poll, the third-highest of four Big Ten teams in the top 20. Penn State opens its season Oct. 6 against Ottawa in the International Game before its regular season kicks off Oct. 11 against Sacred Heart.