2008-09: Matt Puempel played for the Sun County Panthers Minor Midget team. In 32 games, he scored 37 goals and added 25 assists for 62 points. In 19 playoff games for that team, he scored 23 goals and added 13 assists for 36 points. Puempel was chosen in the first round, 6th overall, of the 2009 OHL Priority Selection by the Peterborough Petes.
2009-10: Puempel played in his OHL rookie season for Petes, appearing in 59 games for that team. He scored 33 goals and added 31 assists for 64 points to go along with 43 penalty minutes. In 4 playoff games for the Petes, Puempel scored 1 goal and added 1 assist for 2 points. Puempel earned several honors on the season, as he was named both OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year, as well as being named to the CHL All-Rookie Team and the OHL All-Rookie First Team. He topped OHL rookies in points and goals in the regular season. Puempel played for Team Ontario at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, scoring 2 goals and chipping in 3 assists for 5 points in 6 games for the silver medal squad.
2010-11: Puempel played 55 games for the Peterborough Petes in his second OHL season. He scored 34 goals and added 35 assists for 69 points while also picking up 49 penalty minutes. Puempel played fo Team Cherry at the 2011 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game. Puempel was ranked 28th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft.
2011-12: Puempel made his pro hockey debut — skating in nine games for Ottawa AHL affiliate Binghamton — following his junior hockey season with Peterborough. After a disappointing junior year which saw him play just 30 games due to a nine-game suspension and then the lingering effects of a concussion, he scored 1 goal and was plus-one with 2 penalty minutes in limited ice time with Binghamton. Puempel scored 17 goals with 16 assists and was minus-three with 31 penalty minutes for the Petes; playing his last game on January 5th. Puempel signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Ottawa in December of 2011.
2012-13: Puempel joined Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton in April following his fourth OHL season. He was +1 with no points nor penalty minutes in two regular season games. The Senators were second in the East Division and had the AHL’s fourth-best record before being swept by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first round series. Puempel scored 2 goals and was an even plus/minus in three playoff games. Obtained by Kitchener in June of 2012 after requesting a trade from Peterborough, Puempel was the Rangers’ top goal scorer despite missing time early in the year with a shoulder injury (which kept him out of Team Canada’s U20 camp). He scored 35 goals, including 15 on the power play, with 12 assists in 51 games and was +5 with 43 penalty minutes. The Rangers finished third in the Midwest Division and lost to OHL champion London in the second round. Puempel scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was -2 with 10 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games.
2013-14: Puempel scored 30 goals for Ottawa AHL affiliate Binghamton —sharing the team lead with Mike Hoffman — in his first pro season. He had 18 assists and was -11 with 94 penalty minutes in 74 games for the Senators. Binghamton lost to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first-round playoff series after finishing first in the East Division in the regular season. Puempel skated in one game against the Penguins, finishing with no points nor penalties after suffering an injury in the opening game on a hit from Zach Sill.
2014-15: Puempel made his NHL debut with Ottawa in a February 21st game against Florida and skated in 13 games with the Senators before suffering a season-ending hip injury in March. He scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was +6 with 8 penalty minutes, averaging eight minutes of ice time during Ottawa’s late season playoff push. Skating with AHL affiliate Binghamton prior to his call-up, Puempel scored 12 goals with 20 assists and was -13 with 31 penalty minutes in 51 games. Five of his 12 goals came on the power play.
Puempel is a natural goal scorer, thanks to his high-end shot and vision. He is also a good passer, and a quick skater. Although his defensive game needed quite a bit of work when he originally arrived in Binghamton back in 2012, he has put the time in to improve and is no longer as much of a liability. He has both the skill and drive required to have a good career as top-six NHL forward.
Puempel was returned to Binghamton for the 2015-16 season, but he could be a call-up should the injury bug hit the big club. It is only a matter of time before Puempel moves to Ottawa for good.