Northfield's Ayla Puppe chooses the Gophers
After a massive sophomore campaign, scoring 70 points in 29 games, Northfield's leading scorer Ayla Puppe has verbally committed to Minnesota.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. — Coming off of a 70-point season as only a sophomore, Ayla Puppe is one of the top forwards in the state of Minnesota.
Early in September, the 16-year-old announced that she would be staying close to home to play Division I college hockey for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
"I chose Minnesota because it's close to home and it has a great coaching staff and team culture. They have a winning mindset which is something I want to be a part of," said Puppe on her decision.
The Northfield native grew up watching the maroon and gold as her youth hockey association would travel up to the Twin Cities to watch the Gophers from time to time.
This past season with the Raiders, Puppe posted 39 goals and 31 assists in only 29 games. Northfield also made a Class AA state tournament appearance in 2021-22.
"We had a really good team, we bonded well, so I'm really excited for this year ... We have all played with each other since U8 so it's cool to grow up with them (her teammates) and play with them," she said.
The Minnesota native's skills caught the eyes of Team USA this summer as Puppe participated in the Women's National Festival in Buffalo, New York, where the top 32 players in the nation competed for a spot on the U18 team roster.
"I'm fast, intense, and get everyone on the ice involved in the play ... I'm always trying to improve every area of my game," says the forward on her playing style.
The Northfield native has been on the varsity roster since her seventh grade season and still has two more years left of high school hockey. You can expect her to hit the ice for Minnesota in 2024-25.
When she's not out on the ice, Puppe enjoys hanging out with friends and family and going to the lake.