Carson Bantle named WCHA Preseason Media Rookie of the Year


BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Carson Bantle was named the WCHA Preseason Media Rookie of the Year, and Michigan Tech was picked fifth in the WCHA Preseason Media Poll the league announced on Monday (Nov. 9).

Junior defenseman Colin Swoyer received a vote for Preseason Player of the Year and Preseason All-WCHA. Junior forward Trenton Bliss picked up a vote for the Preseason All-WCHA team, and defenseman Jed Pietila received a vote for Preseason Rookie of the Year.

In the poll, the Huskies received 67 points with one point shy of Northern Michigan. Minnesota State was the top choice with a perfect 100 points and all 10 first-place votes. Bemidji State (90) and Bowling Green (76) were second and third. Lake Superior State (44), Alaska (40), Ferris State (33), Alaska Anchorage (21), and Alabama Huntsville (12) were picked below Tech in six through 10.

Bantle was drafted by the Arizona Cotoyets in the fifth round of the 2020 NHL Draft in early October. He was the captain of the Madison Capitols in the USHL last year and had 49 points in 49 games.

Swoyer appeared in 39 games for the Huskies last year and led the team with 17 assists while scoring four goals. He received the team’s Gitzen-Loutit Memorial Award as the outstanding defensive player. He was also sixth in the WCHA in blocked shots and enters the season with 32 career points in 75 games.

Bliss tallied 27 points with 12 goals and 15 assists to share the team lead and receive the Gary Crosby Memorial Award as the leading scorer. The alternate captain has appeared in 73 career games and totaled 42 points.

Jed Pietila played 128 career games in the NAHL and was the captain of the Austin Bruins last season. He tallied 29 points with eight goals and 21 assists in 2019-20, ranking 17th amongst league defensemen in points.

The 100th season of Michigan Tech hockey begins on November 21-22 at Lake Superior State. The Huskies play rival NMU the next weekend for the first of three two-game sets this season.

The media poll voting board was made up of one representative from each of the league’s 10 markets.

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