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WCHA Predictions: #7 - Michigan Tech Huskies

A week ago I took part in the 3rd Annual WCHA Blogger & Website Preseason Poll as one of 18 participants and thought it would be a good idea to break down my own picks for the final year of the conference as we know it going from 12 to 1. Seventh is the Michigan Tech Huskies, who were eighth in the WCHA last season.

The Huskies were the surprise of the WCHA last year when they ended the season in the Final Five after multiple appearances in the bottom-two. It's safe to say second-year coach Mel Pearson won't be able to take the league by surprise this time but that might not matter. Michigan Tech returns 7 of their top 10 scorers, including David Johnstone, Steven Seigo and every defensemen.

However, they do lose leading scorer Brett Olson and senior goalie Josh Robinson to graduation. The latter might be the team's biggest issue with freshman Pheonix Copley and senior Kevin Genoe trying to replace Robinson's play.

Youth will be a key for the Huskies year and was something that Pearson touched upon during a recent conference call. Michigan Tech only plans on playing a few seniors each night and players like the Johnstones (David and Jacob) and Blake Pietilla (one of three on the team) need to step up and bring the grinding play that got the Huskies as far as they went last year.

Agree with the picks? Disagree? Sound off below.

For more WCHA and college hockey coverage, check out Western College Hockey and SB Nation's NHL hub.

You can follow Nate on Twitter @gopherstate.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.