The Sioux received four of 12 first-place votes and were topped only by league favorite Denver, which garnered seven first-place votes. Third-ranked Colorado College received the final first-place vote.
The coaches also selected UND freshman Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) as the preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year. Grimaldi was selected by the Florida Panthers in the second round (33rd overall) of last June's National Hockey League Entry Draft after a standout career with the U.S. National Team Development Program.
Grimaldi garnered 10 of the possible 12 votes in the poll.
Earlier this week, Grimaldi was also named preseason rookie of the year in the 93X WCHA media poll.
The Sioux, ranked third nationally in both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason polls, open the season on Saturday with an exhibition game against the University of Regina. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. Central at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
2011-12 Grand Forks Herald Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Denver (7) 115
2. North Dakota (4) 110
3. Colorado College (1) 105
4. Nebraska Omaha 89
5. Minnesota Duluth 75
6. Minnesota 74
7. St. Cloud State 61
8. Wisconsin 54
9. Alaska Anchorage 36
10. Bemidji State 30
11. Minnesota State University, Mankato 29
12. Michigan Tech 14
Player of the year: Jaden Schwartz, F, CC (8), Justin Schultz, D, UW (2), Terry Broadhurst, F, UNO (1), Jack Connolly, F, UMD (1)
Rookie of the year: Rocco Grimaldi, F, UND (10), Joey LaLeggia, D, DU (1), Jayson Megna, F, UNO (1)
~ Go Sioux ~