Canisius received four first-place votes and was picked to finish second in the Atlantic Hockey Conference Preseason Coaches Poll released on Tuesday in the league's annual media day.
The Golden Griffins had 92 points in the poll, five fewer than defending Atlantic Hockey Tournament champion Air Force. Robert Morris (66), defending regular season champion Mercyhurst (65), AIC (60), Army (55), RIT (49), Holy Cross (40), Bentley (31), Sacred Heart (29) and Niagara (21).
Canisius returns 20 letter winners from last season's team including Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year Dylan McLaughlin, who ranked seventh in the nation in points per game (1.30) and assists (0.84) per game. All conference defenseman Cameron Heath is among the other returnees.
Canisius will play an exhibition game against the University of Toronto at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, at HarborCenter before beginning the regular season with a two-game series at Holy Cross Oct. 12-13.