INCH Power Rankings

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Each issue, Inside College Hockey will examine the college hockey landscape and offer up our sweet 16. The Power Rankings don't reflect automatic qualifiers – so they don't necessarily convey what the new 16-team tournament would look like "if the season ended today."

Sorry, we hate that phrase – making us even more thankful that things are just getting started. Take a look at how we think the teams stack up entering the season – and let us know what you think. Send us your own Power Rankings, with comments, and we just might publish them.

1. Denver Two words describe the Pioneers’ attitude heading into the season: unfinished business.
2. New Hampshire Haydar's gone – finally. But Colin Hemingway, Sean Collins and Lanny Gare will pick up slack.
3. Minnesota Who will score? With Keith Ballard, Paul Martin and Matt DeMarchi patrolling the blue line, who cares?
4. Boston University Speaking of standout defensemen, Freddy Meyer and Ryan Whitney are an imposing duo.
5. Maine Tim Whitehead is offically “the man” in Orono. We think freshman goalie Jimmy Howard will be, too.
6. Northern Michigan New coach Walt Kyle inherits a veteran crew led by forward Chris Gobert.
7. Michigan They don’t rebuild, they reload. Eric Nystrom should be the next in the line of Wolverine offensive standouts.
8. Boston College Young team will prove that last season’s .500 record was an aberration. Ben Eaves may be Hockey East’s best forward, and he’s joined at The Heights by brother Patrick.
9. Michigan State New coach, new system, new goalie. Same result. Spartans will be in the mix come tourney time.
10. Cornell Home of arguably the ECAC’s best skater (Doug Murray) and goaltender (David LeNeveu).
11. North Dakota Zach Parise, son of former NHLer J.P., is the best of a talented group of WCHA newcomers.
12. Notre Dame With 19 of 22 letterwinners returning, Dave Poulin’s squad should play more like Ty Willingham’s and less like Bob Davie’s.
13. Providence Jon DiSalvatore, Devin Rask and Peter Fregoe provide senior leadership for a team ready to live up to last year's expectations.
14. Ohio State R.J. Umberger, Dave Steckel, Scott May and Mike Betz are a formidable quartet of juniors.
15. Clarkson Mike Walsh just one of the ECAC’s many talented netminders.
16. Wisconsin We’ll round out the rankings by including the other Eaves, Mike, who’s in his first year as Bucky’s head coach.
Northeastern Mike Ryan, Jason Guerriero and Keni Gibson are terrific, but Bruce Crowder will miss Jim Fahey. Any coach would.
Colorado College Peter Sejna joined by young stars Mike Stuart and Brett Sterling.
Alaska Fairbanks Last year was no fluke, but they’ll miss warrior Bobby Andrews.
Harvard The surprise NCAA Tournament qualifiers are paced by Dominic Moore.
Alaska Anchorage Head coach John Hill learned art of building programs from the master, Don Lucia.
Nebraska-Omaha Mavs are young, but Greg Zanon and Dan Ellis return.
Wayne State The class of CHA. Can they win the league playoff title with an NCAA berth on the line?
Mercyhurst Some lucky school will lure coach Rick Gotkin away from Erie. He’ll want to bring forward Adam Tackaberry with him.
Quinnipiac Braves, Bobcats. Call them what you want. They’ll still be in the hunt for the MAAC’s automatic bid.

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