COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Six different teams are represented on the 2021 NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team, selected by media, as the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) unveiled the seven-man squad Tuesday. St. Cloud State is the lone team with two representatives, while Miami, Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, Omaha and Western Michigan each placed one player on the team.
Among the 25 media voters, SCSU sophomore forward Veeti Miettinen and Western Michigan junior defenseman Ronnie Attard led the way with 22 votes each. Minnesota Duluth senior Noah Cates and Omaha senior Chayse Primeau round out the forward group with 18 and 13 votes, respectively. Joining Attard on the blue line are SCSU senior Nick Perbix and North Dakota sophomore Jake Sanderson, who each collected 13 votes to create a tie. Miami sophomore goaltender Ludvig Persson rounds out the Preseason All-NCHC Team in net, garnering 10 votes.
Miettinen (Espoo, Finland) was a Second-Team All-NCHC and NCHC All-Rookie Team selection last season, while earning NCHC Rookie of the Year. The Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick led all NCHC freshmen in scoring last season, tallying 23 points (10g, 13a) in 24 conference games. Cates (Stillwater, Minn.) and Primeau (Margate City, N.J.) were also Second-Team All-NCHC honorees a year ago. Cates, a Philadelphia Flyers draft pick, totaled 17 points (5g, 12a) in 24 conference games last year while serving as captain of the Bulldogs. Primeau racked up 23 points (9g, 14a) in 24 NCHC games for UNO.
Leading the blue line is another Flyers prospect in Attard (White Lake, Mich.), who is the lone returning First-Team All-NCHC honoree from 2020-21 and will serve as an assistant captain for WMU this year. Last season’s NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year led all NCHC blue liners with both eight goals and 22 points in 24 conference games. Perbix (Elk River, Minn.), a Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick, tied for second among NCHC defensemen in scoring last season with 19 points (5g, 14a) in 24 conference games en route to Second-Team All-NCHC honors. Sanderson (Whitefish, Mont.), an alternate captain for UND this year, compiled 11 points (2g, 9a) in 17 conference games as a freshman, missing seven games due to his participation for Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championship. The Ottawa Senators first round draft pick was an NCHC All-Rookie Team honoree last year.
Persson (Hindas, Sweden) was a Second-Team All-NCHC pick and an All-Rookie Team honoree in 2020-21, starting 17 of 24 NCHC games in net for the RedHawks. He finished conference play with an NCHC-best .930 save percentage and averaged 29 saves per game, tops in the league. The Swede posted a 5-10-2 record with two shutouts in NCHC play, while compiling a 2.40 goals-against average, which was third in the conference.
Media members voted for three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender on their ballot with each vote worth one point. The top three vote-getters at forward, top two defensemen (plus ties) and highest vote-getting goaltender made up the preseason all-conference team. A total of 25 ballots were submitted by media members covering each team, as well as select national media.
On Wednesday, the 2021-22 NCHC Preseason Poll will be revealed. It will first be counted down on the NCHC’s Twitter account, @TheNCHC, beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.
NCHC Media Day then takes place the following day on Thursday, Sept. 16 at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., the home of the 2022 NCHC Frozen Faceoff. Fans can take part in 2021 NCHC Media Day by asking questions during the Twitter Takeovers, watching Facebook LIVE interviews, and streaming the State of the Conference address for free on NCHC.tv.
2021 NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team
F – Veeti Miettinen, So., St. Cloud State – 22 votes
F – Noah Cates, Sr., Minnesota Duluth – 18 votes
F – Chayse Primeau, Sr., Omaha – 13 votes
D – Ronnie Attard, Jr., Western Michigan – 22 votes
D – Nick Perbix, Sr., St. Cloud State – 13 votes
D – Jake Sanderson, So., North Dakota – 13 votes
G – Ludvig Persson, So., Miami – 10 votes