Senior Spotlight: Maple Grove captain and leading point scorer Stella Retrum
Retrum, a Penn State commit, talks about her hockey journey, the culture of the Maple Grove team and how she leads by example.
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Maple Grove captain, leading point scorer and Penn State commit Stella Retrum helped lead the Crimson to the state tournament this past season.
The junior scored a massive 61 points in 31 games for the Crimson during the 2021-22 season, but hockey wasn't always something she was passionate about.
"I definitely was not into it in the beginning, but once I started to get better it was a lot more fun," said Retrum on her days of playing youth hockey.
Stella's father, Mike, comes from a hockey family, and he was one of the main reasons that she picked up the skates and was enrolled in the sport in the first place.
Ever since those youth hockey days, Retrum's talent on the ice has gotten better and better.
In three seasons with Maple Grove, and one with Breck, Retrum has piled up 123 points in 110 games and has made three state tournament appearances, which includes one state title with the Mustangs back in 2019.
"I'd say I'm a playmaker ... I play 200 feet of the ice ... I play really well in both the offensive and defensive zone," said Retrum about her playing style.
Retrum made a big jump between her sophomore and junior year, going from scoring 19 points in 19 games to 61 points in 31 games. She attributes this mostly to hard work and becoming more confident in her own game and skills.
A captain for the Crimson last season, Retrum prefers to lead in her own way. "I would rather lead by example than telling people what to do." To her, that will encourage those in the locker room and on the ice in a positive way.
One of the biggest things that Retrum believed contributed to the season that the Crimson had was the team's culture.
The captain said that the coaching staff this year made a big push to create a strong team culture — and they did just that.
"I thought the team environment was one of the best I've ever played on," said Stella, who also vividly recalls the section final win this year where "the environment in the locker room after, everyone was so close and together and happy, there was no team drama or anything ... most of the team was a part of it (the section final win) and not just one or two people."
Last year, Retrum announced her commitment on social media to play Division I hockey at Penn State University. She didn't rush her college decision, as she wanted to keep her options open, but she says that she really loved the coaching staff and just everything about the school in general. Those characteristics wound up being the deciding factors in her decision.
This offseason, Retrum has been busy with the high performance camps, as she made it all the way to the Girls 16/17 National Camp, and scored five points in four games there.
Although Maple Grove had a very good season last year, Retrum says that the team is hungry for more. "I think everyone wants to get back to state," she said.
With the positive team culture, Retrum feels good about the upcoming season, especially since there hasn't been a coaching change. Retrum has played under a lot of different head coaches in her high school career and is excited to not have to go through another change this offseason.
Even though the 2022-'23 season hasn't started yet, expect Retrum to have a big season. She hopes to have her best year yet, and has a stretch goal of hitting the 200-point mark.
Stella Retrum is ready to take on her senior year by leading the Crimson into possibly another strong finish in Section 5AA and another chance at the Xcel Energy Center for the state tournament.