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Bolt Prospects Litter USCHO Division I NCAA Hockey Poll

The first USCHO NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Poll for the 2018-19 season was released today containing the pre-season rankings of the Top 20 hockey teams in the country. Six Lightning NCAA prospects are represented on five of the Top-20 rosters. Four of those six prospects will make the leap from high school and USHL hockey to the collegiate ranks this season.

The University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs headlines the list at #1, whose roster includes left-winger and Lightning 2018 6th round draft pick Cole Koepke. Defenseman Nick Perbix, drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 draft, will suit up for the #6 ranked St. Cloud State Huskies. Nipping at the heels of the Huskies at #7 is 2018 4th round pick Alex Green, who returns to the Cornell Big Red blueline for his sophomore campaign. The University of Denver Pioneers checks in at #9 on the pre-season rankings with center Cole Guttman, a Tampa Bay 2017 6th round pick, hoping to put an injury-marred 2017-18 season behind him. Finally, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers received a lucky #13 ranking by the USCHO with a pair of Bolt prospects sporting the Gopher lineup for the upcoming season. The elder statesman of Lightning NCAA prospects is defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf, a 5th round pick in 2015 by the Lightning, will return for his sophomore tour, alongside the reigning Minnesota Mr. Hockey and 2017 7th round selection center Sammy Walker, who making his collegiate debut.

Outside the USCHO Top-20, but receiving votes, were the University of Massachusettes at Lowell River Hawks and the University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks. Forward Ryan Lohin, drafted by the Bolts in the 7th round of the 2016 draft, returns to the River Hawks for his junior season. Goaltender Kris Oldham, a 6th round 2015 Lightning pick, is not listed on the Mavericks 2018-19 roster as one of the team's three netminders, leaving his NCAA status for this season dubious after seeing action in only six games in the 2017-18 UNO season.

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats received no votes for the USCHO pre-season Top-20 rankings, but Lightning 2018 7th round pick Ty Taylor will join the Wildcats as one of three roster goaltenders, making him the fifth Bolt prospect to debut at the collegiate level this season.

The full list of the USCHO pre-season Top-20 rankings can be found at https://www.uscho.com/rankings/d-i-mens-poll/.