2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Wednesday reading: NHL Draft rankings, Team USA, WCHA commissioner, Frozen 4

Published: April 9, 2014, 4:25 am, by Joe Paisley

bruceandbill415Incoming CC goalie Chase Perry dropped from No. 4 to No. 8 in the most recent NHL Central Scouting rankings. The NHL draft is in June.

Former Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki will serve as head coach of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team, USA Hockey announced today. A three-time assistant for the U.S. National Junior Team, Osiecki helped Team USA capture gold medals in 2010 and 2013, plus a bronze medal in 2011. He replaces Minnesota coach Don Lucia.

Bill Robertson is the new commissioner of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.  He was vice president of communications and broadcasting for the Minnesota Wild from 1999-2011. He also has worked for the Anaheim Angels, the Ducks and the Timberwolves.

Robertson, 53, succeeds longtime leader Bruce McLeod, who retired after 20 seasons with the league.

“I am excited about this wonderful opportunity to help lead and guide the WCHA for many years to come,” Robetson said. “It is truly an honor to serve this iconic sports and collegiate hockey conference, while showcasing some of the top student-athletes and institutions in the country.”

Here is a preview on Minnesota vs. North Dakota and a look at the semifinals. Here are analysis pieces on UM vs. UND and BC vs. Union.

Thirty-nine players in the Frozen Four have been drafted by NHL teams, up from 15 in last season’s Frozen Four. Minnesota and North Dakota (14 each) are the top two teams nationally in NHL draft picks, while Boston College (10) ranks fourth. Gostisbehere is the lone draft pick on Union’s roster. 

Minnesota and North Dakota have met 283 times in the past, third-most of any college hockey rivalry (Michigan-Michigan State and Colorado College-Denver the only two with more). The former WCHA rivals aren’t on each other’s regular-season schedules until 2016-17. Boston College and Union have played just once in the past, though the stakes were high: the Dutchmen ended BC’s season a year ago in the East Regional in Providence.

Top Rivalries by Games Played
299 – Michigan vs. Michigan State
294 – Colorado College vs. Denver
283 – Minnesota vs. North Dakota