MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Golden Gopher men's hockey team drew nine first-place votes to grab the top spot in the 33rd annual coaches poll conducted by the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald.
The two-time defending national champions received every first-place vote possible since head coaches can't vote for their own teams.
North Dakota, which finished fourth in the WCHA last year, received the other first-place ballot.
In individual honors, the Gopher's Thomas Vanek captured six of a possible 10 votes to win the preseason player of the year. North Dakota's Zach Parise, last season's preseason rookie of the year, finished second with three votes.
Wisconsin defenseman Ryan Suter was voted preseason rookie of the year with five votes. North Dakota's Brady Murray earned three votes, while Minnesota's Ryan Potulny and Minnesota State, Mankato's Dave Backes each received one vote.
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