The Wisconsin Badger men’s hockey team will open the 2014-15 season ranked No. 10 in the USCHO.com Preseason Poll and No. 12 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Poll.
The Badgers finished the 2013-14 season ranked No. 7 in the nation in both polls. This years rankings mark the 11th consecutive time the Badgers open a season ranked in the USCHO.com Preseason Poll, including the fifth time during that stretch ranked in the top 10.
Wisconsin is one of three Big Ten teams ranked among the top-10 schools in the USCHO.com Poll with No. 1 Minnesota and No. 8 Michigan also highly thought of as the season approaches.
Wisconsin holds its first official practice of the season on Saturday in De Pere at Cornerstone Community Center. The 1 p.m. practice concludes with the Badgers’ Red-White scrimmage.
Wisconsin welcomes 11 freshmen to the team and will have 13 of their 26 players on the roster who have yet to play in a collegiate game for UW. They do return senior Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist Joel Rumpel in goal, along with double-digit goal scorer in senior forward Joseph LaBate. Both were on the Big Ten preseason Players to Watch list.