The all-conference teams are composed of one goaltender, two defensemen, and three forwards. If a tie occurred for the final selection at any position, both players were included as part of the greater all-conference team; if a tie resulted in an increase in the number of superior all-stars, the inferior team would not be reduced in number (as happened in 1963–64). Players may only appear once per year on any of the first, second, or third teams but a freshman may appear on both the rookie team and one of the other all-conference teams.
In 1951–52, the Midwest Collegiate Hockey League (MCHL) formed as a conference. Two years later, it changed its name to the Western Intercollegiate Hockey League (WIHL). By 1957–58, however, a major disagreement over recruiting caused the dissolution of the conference with all member teams becoming independent schools for the following season. After one season without a formalized conference, all of the schools involved in the spat discovered that not being in a conference was worse than the alternative so the WCHA was formed. Because all of the WCHA founding teams played in the WIHL/MCHL, the former league's all-star teams (1951–1958) are included in this list.