The ECAC is likely to place the most teams into the NCAA tournament this year. Here’s a complete rundown of the possibilities.
As you know from Who can make the NCAA tournament?, the winner of the Atlantic Hockey tournament is the only team from that conference that will make the NCAAs.
Similarly, the winner of the Big Ten tournament is the only team that will join Ohio State in representing the Big Ten, guaranteeing the Big Ten two representatives.
Arizona State will be the lone independent in the NCAA tournament.
The NCHC is guaranteed to get St Cloud St, Denver, and Minnesota Duluth in, and will most likely have 3 representatives. But, if (and only if) Colorado College wins the tournament, the Tigers will get an automatic bid, giving the NCHC 4 teams in the NCAAs.
The WCHA is only guaranteed one team, Minnesota State, and it is possible that the Mavericks will be the WCHA’s only representative. But, the WCHA is more likely to get 2 in by having Bowling Green join them (which could happen even if Minnesota State wins the conference tournament).
Hockey East is only guaranteed two teams, Massachusetts and Northeastern, but 3 or 4 is much more likely. Boston College or Boston University can make it by winning the conference tournament, and Providence can make it at-large.
The ECAC has the most possible different permutations of teams that could make the NCAAs, though landing 4 teams in the NCAAs is by far most likely. Quinnipiac and Clarkson are the only teams in for sure, but there is no situation in which they are the only two who make it. Brown can also make the NCAAs by winning the conference tournament. Cornell and Harvard can make it either by winning the conference tournament, or possibly by earning an at-large bid depending on other outcomes. The ECAC should see no fewer than 3 teams and no more than 5 in the NCAAs.