Peyton Cullaton’s love for hockey began early while growing up in Colorado and watching her dad play professionally. No longer a 9-year old new to the game, Peyton recently committed to Northeastern University and is preparing for her high school season at Lakeville North. Neutral Zone caught up with Peyton recently to learn more about her experience and any advice she would offer other aspiring collegiate athletes.
1.What is it like playing Minnesota High School in such a hockey hot spot?
This season will be my first in the MN high school league. I am very excited to play for Lakeville North. I have had the opportunity to meet the coaches and a few of the players and they are really nice.
2.It seems like a lot of girls are playing midget hockey. What made you stay and play for your high school?
I actually played U16 last season for the St Louis Blues AAA program. But I feel that Minnesota HS hockey is a very challenging league and there are a lot of solid names that currently play, which shows me you need to bring your A game each and every night.
3.With Northeastern on the horizon, what are your hockey plans ahead of your Boston arrival?
To continue to grow in the game and do my part to help Lakeville North be successful and continue its proud hockey tradition for the girls that will play after me.
4.When did you start hearing from college teams? What did it feel like to receive interest from Division I college programs?
The recruiting process began a couple years ago at U14. There were scouts attending the tournaments. I really tried not to focus on that and just play my own game and help my team be successful. It’s always an amazing feeling to be wanted and know that someone other than your parents and coaches see a value in your game.
5.What is most exciting about playing college hockey?
The most exciting part for me is to become a part of a new family and know that every day I get to compete at the top level in the game I love. All while attaining a great education and preparing myself for the future.
6.Did you receive offers from other schools besides Northeastern?
There were really no concrete offers until this opportunity presented itself. I had a few conversations and some feedback on my game but that was it.
7.Northeastern only has two players from Minnesota on its team. One of which came out of NAHA in the Northeast. Explain why you chose Northeastern and where and how they found you.
Northeastern was my top choice. Northeastern is a school committed to excellence, offering experiences that will prepare you for a life of fulfillment and accomplishment in a world that is constantly changing. On the hockey side, I chose Northeastern because I believe in the coaching staff. They hold players accountable while also rewarding hard work. The coaches will push me to be the best I can be for the betterment of the team.
8.Was it challenging for you to commit to a school away from home when the trend keeps Minnesota kids in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area for college?
There is no challenge. I wanted to be a student/athlete at Northeastern and that goal has been made possible.
9.A lot of parents, players, and fans are concerned about early commitments in college hockey. To help them understand, give us the perspective of the student-athlete in 9th grade and tell us why this was the right time for you.
Again, I wanted to be a student/athlete at Northeastern University and when I was informed that they liked my game and personality, there was not much more I needed to think about. Every player will know the appropriate time for them and what avenue they want to go with the game and mine was down St. Botolph Street in Boston, MA.
10.Do you have any advice for other girls about to go through the college recruitment process?
The best advice that I can give is just play your game and have fun. Don’t try to be something you’re not! Every team is constantly searching for the right pieces to build the elusive championship puzzle and you need to show them you are that missing piece.