Up next is Merrimack. Merrimack did great last year, advancing to the Hockey East final and the NCAA tournament, which it last made in 1988. Merrimack took some losses this offseason, but still retains their core of a team that will likely still be able to make an impact on Hockey East play.
In the net, Merrimack retains Joe Cannata for his senior year. Cannata will likely be a top-3 goalie in Hockey East, and will be able to keep Merrimack in most games. Consider goaltending a strong suit for them.
In terms of defense, Merrimack keeps 4 of their 6 defensmen. The two new defensemen are overagers on junior teams, and will likely be on the 3rd pairing seeing little ice time, but the top 2 lines will be strong.
Finally, offense. Merrimack lose their top 3 point scorers, including Stephane DaCosta, who signed with Ottawa in the offseason. Luckily, they return 4 players who scored more than 10 goals: Ryan Flanigan, Jesse Todd, Mike Collins, and Carter Madsen. With the exception of Collins (a sophomore), all of them will be seniors, so look for them to have big seasons. They have a ton of scoring potential remaining, and will be an offensive powerhouse.
Merrimack has a solid overall team, and although they took losses, retain the core of the team that took them to new heights this past season. They will be a force to reckon with this upcoming season.