So I don't think many people realize this, but rivals 'The Yost Post' is basically the greatest source of free insider information in Michigan sports ime. It's the home of a bunch of really well connected guys (Michael Spath, Bob Miller, as well as I believe the bloggers responsible for yostbuilt and MHNet).
He just dropped some great info over there which I will share with you: LINK
As for this year's hockey team, there is a lot of excitement at Yost these days. As one person put it, 'This team has come from a B- to an A' thanks to the signing of stud defenseman Zach Werenski. At the moment, he is penciled in as a top-four defenseman along with sophomores Michael Downing and Kevin Lohan, and likely senior Andrew Sinelli.
Up front, the Wolverines are giddy. Junior Andrew Copp, sophomore JT Compher and freshman Dylan Larkin give U-M its best top-three centermen since the 1990s, according to one opinion. There are great two-way guys in senior Zach Hyman and sophomore Tyler Motte too. Hyman may not be a 20-goal scorer (though 10-12 is expected) but he's going to be a big part of this team. Multiple sources have told me if not for Copp, Hyman would be wearing the 'C'. The good news too is that there are enough 'shoulder' guys - players that can carry the team and know how to embrace that responsibility - that players like junior Boo Nieves, sophomore Evan Allen, sophomore Alex Kile and freshman Dexter Dancs can go about their business without much pressure at all, and that should allow them to realize their potential. For Nieves that's 15-20 goals and 30 assists (as a winger most likely).
Perhaps most importantly, as has been reported by me in the past, the locker-room issues are now fully gone. There were a few real issues the past two years but those players are gone. When I spoke to someone that had lower expectations than normal the past two years (and was proven right) because he knew about the locker room issues and some of the big holes on the roster (goalie two years ago, defense and scoring last year), he stated very strongly that he expects Michigan to compete for the Big Ten title and to be a national championship contender. 'With the roster in place right now, Red has two years left [before he is expected to retire] and he's going to have two great chances to go out on top.
So as was strongly rumored the lockerroom problems seem to have left Yost. Hallelujah. As has generally been the case since the early 90's, Michigan is more than talented enough to win the national title and this may be our most talented team in several years.