Minnesota Duluth senior captain Noah Cates was one of seven players named to the 2021 NCHC Preseason All-Conference team that was announced Tuesday.

It’s the second consecutive season Cates was named to the preseason all-league team. The Stillwater, Minnesota native and and 2017 fifth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers is a three-time regular season All-NCHC selection, landing on the all-rookie team as a freshmen, first-team as a sophomore and second-team a year ago as a junior captain.

Playing center instead of his natural position of wing in 2020-21, Cates posted five goals and 14 assists in 28 games. He could have signed with the Flyers this offseason — like his older brother, Jackson, an undrafted free agent, did — but Cates instead decided to return to UMD to captain the Bulldogs for a second-straight season.

Cates is expected to return this season to wing, where he totaled nine goals and 14 assists in 40 games as a freshman and 14 goals and 19 assists in 34 games as a sophomore.

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Cates was third among vote-getters on this year’s preseason all-conference team with 18 votes. St. Cloud State sophomore forward and Veeti Miettinen and Western Michigan junior defenseman Ronnie Attard led the way with 22 votes each.

Voting was conducted by 25 media members who cover the NCHC. Those same media members voted on the league’s preseason poll, which will be announced Wednesday. NCHC Media Day is scheduled for Thursday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.