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GHS: 2023-2024 Player of the Year Finalists

By YHH Staff, 02/12/24, 5:15PM CST


Six players, hailing from every corner of the state, make up this year's list of finalists.

Hannah Halverson - Edina

15 Questions/60 Seconds

Player: Hannah Halverson 
Team: Edina
Year: Senior
College commitment: Wisconsin 

Though it feels like Halverson has worn Edina’s iconic green-and-gold for all of her high school career, her debut on the prep stage included a 45-point season for Breck. Halverson burst onto the Minnesota high school hockey stage by helping the Mustangs to the 2020 Class A state championship, recording four goals and 14 points during the postseason. 

Since transferring to Edina, where Halverson played her youth hockey, the Wisconsin commit has racked up 80 goals and 192 career points, helping the Hornets to Class AA State Tournament appearances in 2021, 2022, and 2023. She recorded 17 points, good for fifth-most on the team, during the Hornets’ 2021 run to the state championship. This season, Halverson leads the Hornets in scoring with 25 goals and 48 points, both career-highs. 

In addition to her high school hockey accomplishments, Halverson has competed in the last two USA Hockey Select 18 National Camps. 

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Mackenzie Jones - Andover

15 Questions/60 Seconds

Player: Mackenzie Jones
Team: Andover
Year: Junior
College commitment: Wisconsin 

Jones has been a varsity contributor since day one with Andover, playing a critical top-four role in the Huskies’ 2021 Class AA state championship. Now in her third varsity season, Jones has played in a state title game three times, and the rangy defender has totaled 31 goals and 85 points in her career, meaning Jones has averaged nearly one point per game as a defender.

This season, Jones leads the Huskies in goals (16), assists (24), and points (40) while contributing to a defensive group that’s allowing just 1.15 goals-per-game, third-best in the state. Jones is the only junior among this year’s six finalists.  

After a sparkling sophomore season, Jones was invited to try out for Team USA’s Under-18 National Team. She is considered by many to be in the running for one of the coveted defensive spots for the 2025 version of the tournament. Jones is verbally committed to Wisconsin. 

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Kate Kosobud - Moorhead

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Player: Kate Kosobud 
Team: Moorhead
Year: Senior
College commitment: Minnesota

Moorhead went 8-16-1 the season before Kate Kosobud joined the varsity Spuds’ blueline. Since then, as Kosobud has blossomed, so has the Moorhead girls’ program. 

Kosobud’s COVID-adjusted freshman year featured a record of 11-8-1, with Kosobud chipping in with two goals and nine points as the Spuds bowed out to Roseau in the Class AA, Section 8 semifinals. Fast-forward to her senior season, and the senior captain is guiding a two-time Section 8 champion while on pace for a career-high in scoring. 

Kosobud has 10 goals and 35 points this season for the Spuds, ranking third in points. Known from Baudette to Bigelow for her physical play, Kosobud paces Moorhead in penalty minutes with 42. Kosobud’s hard-nosed style of play and defensive smarts helped her earn a scholarship to the University of Minnesota. 

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Ilsa Lindaman - Duluth Marshall

15 Questions/60 Seconds

Player: Ilsa Lindaman 
Team: Duluth Marshall 
Year: Senior
College commitment: St. Thomas

The lone Class A finalist on this year’s list, Lindaman has dueled with fellow Youth Hockey Hub Player of the Year candidate Ayla Puppe for the top spot in goal among all skaters. As of Monday, February 12, Lindaman has 57, while Puppe has 59.

The 57 goals are a career-high for the St. Thomas commit, who is also one assist away from equaling her career-high of 30, a mark set last season. Lindaman’s 29 assists pace the Hilltoppers this season, and her 86 points ranked second behind the aforementioned Puppe. For her career, Lindaman has totaled 147 goals and 242 points. 

Lindaman’s play has led the Hilltoppers to a 22-3-1 record so far and the top seed in Section 7A, presenting the best chance to break three-time defending section champion Proctor/Hermantown’s stranglehold on the section for the first item since Cloquet-Esko-Carlton upended the Mirage in 2020. 

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Ayla Puppe - Northfield

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Player: Ayla Puppe 
Team: Northfield
Year: Senior
College commitment: Minnesota 

In the town where the Jesse James Gang met its demise over 150 years ago, a new type of weapon has emerged from Northfield. Ayla Puppe and her downright violent scoring ability have been the talk of southern Minnesota since an eight-game stint with the varsity during her seventh-grade season in 2018-2019.

Since then, Puppe has totaled 183 goals and 321 career points, including career-highs in both goals (59) and points (107) this season. Her 321 career points place her 18th all-time among Minnesota girls’ high school hockey players, according to the statistical database Elite Prospects. Puppe and Raiders posted a 24-1 record during the 2023-2024 regular season and secured the No. 1 seed in Section 1AA.

Puppe is committed to the University of Minnesota. 

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Josie St. Martin - Stillwater

15 Questions/60 Seconds

Player: Josie St. Martin 
Team: Stillwater
Year: Senior
College commitment: Ohio State 

St. Martin has been on the state’s collective hockey radar since she was in middle school, flashing onto the varsity scene with a 15-goal, 33-point campaign as an eighth-grader. St. Martin has been a target for six high school hockey seasons, and that fact is made all the more impressive by the way St. Martin has lived up to - and exceeded - every expectation. 

The Ohio State commit is a three-time Team USA skater, helping the country’s Under-18 program to silver (2021), bronze (2022), and gold medals (2023). In January, St. Martin totaled six goals and nine points to help Team USA earn its first gold medal since 2020. Her six goals were tops on the team, and her nine points were tied for a team-high with Maggie Scannell and Ava Thomas.  

For her high school career, St. Martin has racked up 112 goals and 238 points, including a 26-goal, 60-point 2023-2024 campaign thus far.

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