ST. PAUL, MN - The Big Ten men's hockey conference begins this season and the league's coaches picked the Wisconsin Badgers as the pre-season favorite to win the title.
Minnesota was picked second followed by Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State.
Badger head coach Mike Eaves says Wisconsin is returning about 80 percent of its scoring from last season and that's probably why the coaches think so highly of his team.
"We're an upperclassmen team," said Eaves. "If I look at teams, that's the first thing I look for are returners and such, so no surprises there. I don't think it changes anything we do in terms of our expectations and the way we want to conduct our business."
Four Badgers are on the Big Ten Pre-season "Players to Watch" list including Jake McCabe, Nic Kerdiles, Michael Mersch and Mark Zengerle.