The men’s hockey team lost its starting goalie and a stable of star forwards after last season. But ECAC insiders still expect big things from the Elis.

Yale was picked to finish first in its conference in both the media and coaches’ polls, which were released on Wednesday. Last season, Union edged out the Elis for the regular season championship, but Yale won the ECAC’s postseason tournament. The Blue, who finished the season 28–7–1, went on to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the quarterfinals to eventual national champion Minnesota–Duluth.

With nine of the 12 first place votes in the coaches’ poll and 25 of 42 in the media poll, the team is a clear favorite to reclaim the regular season title from Union which came in second in both polls. Cornell came in third.

Both sets of voters also picked Yale forwards Andrew Miller ’13 and Brian O’Neill ’12 for their All-Conference teams.

League coaches stressed in a conference call Wednesday that preseason polls mean nothing. Nonetheless, we can at least trust the judgment of the media as it picked Harvard to finish last in the conference.

Yale kicks off its hockey season against Princeton on Oct. 28.