Welcome to "This Month in Recruiting," where YHH will attempt to highlight the girls and boys high school players who have made their verbal commitments or signed their National Letters of Intent with Division I collegiate programs.
All commitments are sourced through RinkNet's collegecommitments.com, and the order is determined by the date of commitment. This month's article features players committed during the month of May, so a player like Elk River's Kylie Huseth (who committed on June 1) will be featured in next month's version.
Sophie Helgeson, previously committed to RPI, is the lone Minnesotan committed to Wisconsin for the 2021-2022 season.
College commitment: Bemidji State
The senior defender has been a mainstay on the Warrior blueline for five seasons, getting her feet wet as an eighth-grader and evolving into a leader for the Warriors as team captain her senior year.
Larson recorded five goals and 17 points while helping the Warriors to an appearance in the Class AA, Section 8 semifinals before falling to eventual section champion Alexandria and made the state tournament twice in her five-year career.
Larson will join Proctor-Hermantown’s Ella Anick, South St. Paul’s Makenna Deering, and Grand Rapids-Greenway product Claire Vekich as members of Bemidji State’s 2021-2022 roster.
College commitment: Wisconsin
Helgeson’s recruitment reopened once she officially de-committed from RPI, and the Wisconsin Badgers cashed in on the smooth-skating defender from the storied Roseau program.
Helgeson posted 10 goals and 36 points for the Rams during the 2020-2021 campaign, in which the Rams advanced to the Class AA, Section 8 finals. In her five varsity seasons, Helgeson recorded 19 goals and 87 points in 112 career games, solid offensive numbers for a defender. Helgeson also participated in USA Hockey’s Select 16 camp in 2020.
The lone Minnesotan committed to the 2021 national champion Badgers for the 2021-2022 season, Helgeson will be far from the only State of Hockey native on the roster when she arrives in Madison. Edina’s Grace Bowlby, Maple Grove’s Breanna Blesi, and former Section 8AA rivals Mayson Toft of Alexandria and former Warroad standout Katie Kotlowski suited up for the Badgers last season.
College commitment: Franklin Pierce
The second Roseau Ram to commit for the 2021-2022 season in less than two weeks in mid-May, Mertens is one of six Minnesotans slated to play for the Ravens in either 2021-2022 or 2022-2023.
Mertens finished as the Rams’ second-leading scorer last season as a junior, racking up 23 goals and 49 points to bring her career totals to 52 goals and 95 points. With a senior season yet to play, Mertens is all but guaranteed to surpass the 100-point threshold early next year.
Lucy Hanson, Nettie Kimble, Mikayla Kelley, Julia Stevens, and Geno Hendrickson have all pledged to Franklin Pierce for the 2021-2022 season. The Ravens already have Minnesotans on the roster in Brooke Remington, Jenna Ruiz, Becca Kniss, and Claire Casey, a Superior, Wis. native who spent the 2019-2020 season at Vadnais Heights-based Gentry Academy after four years at Duluth Marshall.
College commitment: St. Cloud State
Andersen finished second in goals, assists, and points for Fergus Falls last season, tallying 15 goals and 24 points for the 10-9-1 Otters. Andersen’s 2020-2021 performance gives her 78 career goals and 141 total points throughout a five-year varsity career.
Along with current Hamline forward Sophie Rausch, Andersen led Fergus Falls to the 2019 Class A State Tournament, in which the Others took No. 2 seed and eventual state champion Breck to the brink in a heartbreaking 2-0 loss. Andersen would go on to finish tied for third in tournament goals scored with three as the Otters captured consolation championship honors.
Naturally, the St. Cloud State roster is bursting with Minnesotans, with nine on the 2020-2021 iteration. Andersen will find a familiar face in Husky forward Allie Cornelius, who skated for Central Lakes Conference rival St. Cloud.
Roseau's Memphis Mertens verbally committed to Franklin Pierce on May 23. Mertens will likely pass 100 career points early in her senior season in 2021-2022.